Meredith Wilder is today’s featured Music Maker. Here she talks about why she loves teaching music lessons, the good and the bad about touring, and how much she enjoys singing on other people’s records.
I love teaching music because there is constant growth and success. Building confidence in a young musician inevitably builds my own confidence. It’s also a great reminder of why I came to love music in the first place.
So far the most inspiring teaching moment I’ve had has been with one voice and piano student who happens to be the student I have taught the longest. She has always been fearless about performing, but the moment happened in the classroom when we ran a song and I heard all the progress she has made vocally. She has a lovely, unique voice and the fact that I had a small part in developing it is very inspiring.
The most challenging thing about teaching music is the anxiety I sometimes feel before a lesson—especially the first lesson with a student. (Can I offer this student what he/she needs? Most likely. Will they think I’m cool? Eventually. And if not, oh well. Am I qualified to do this? Definitely.) As I get older, I’m directing that anxiety towards excitement instead of fear and it’s getting better.
My older sister joined the praise band at my family’s church when I was 10 years old. I idolized her already, but when I watched her—and, more importantly, heard her sing—I had no choice but to pursue it. Her voice was so beautiful I spent those first few years trying to imitate it. Thanks, Emily!
Working as a session musician often feels like the closest I’ll ever become to being a magician. Most of the harmonies I sing I come up with on the spot and I often don’t even know what it is I’m singing. In most cases, those initial ideas add a nice layer to the songs and I walk away feeling like I contributed something from my soul. It’s also, of course, very nice to get paid for my soulful contribution.
The most difficult thing about touring is being away from stability. As a shy, anxious lady it is almost immobilizing when I’m thrown out of my comfort zone and end up on a stage in front of strangers. That being said, we grow the most from those difficult situations and I’ll definitely throw myself back on the touring route again.
What I have loved most about touring is representing New Mexico’s music scene. I’ve always been proud to share that I’m from Albuquerque. A few folks have commented that my band Wildewood sounds like the Southwest and to me, that’s the highest praise we could receive.