Kristiana has been involved with the Music Clubhouse for nearly half of her life. She points to an instrument-themed puzzle still hanging on the wall that she helped put together at 12-years-old. At that time, when Kristiana first followed a friend in to the music room, she was shy and insecure, even though she had natural vocal talent.
The Music Clubhouse opened doors for Kristiana that she never could have imagined– from forming a band, to participating in a music event with the Red Sox, to being accepted to the prestigious Berklee College City Music Program.
But perhaps the most important door that the Music Clubhouse opened was to her inner strength.
“Music became a positive coping skill, rather than the negative ones I had been using. At that time, I had nowhere to turn, and so I turned here,” says Kristiana.
Kristiana was privately battling anxiety and depression and was experiencing other struggles in her personal life. The Music Clubhouse was a safe space for her where “people were just ready to listen without judgment,” she says. A mentor at the Music Clubhouse showed her how to write down what she was feeling and then develop those words into lyrics. Kristiana speaks proudly about how the songwriting process gave her a voice to express herself and how performing on stage and recording a finished song gave her new confidence.
“Songwriting taught me how to say what I want. Now I feel like I have the ability to express myself in different ways. And it’s really helped me advocate for myself throughout the years.”
That confidence stays with her today. Kristiana is a poised and well-spoken college student with a clear direction. She is on her way to completing a dual licensing and double-degree program in Elementary and Special Education.
“I decided I wanted to do something to help people. I realized I wanted to be the type of person who was there for me when I was younger.”
Kristiana’s relationship with the Music Clubhouse and its music program is ongoing. She has been invited back to perform at Open Mic Nights, she visits the Clubhouse regularly on college breaks, and she stays in touch with the mentors from her youth.
“I’ve grown up here, and this is like my second family. I’ll be 21 soon, and this is still one of my comfort places.”