Emily Secor '16

1. Why was it important to you to include a linguistics-oriented IIM or a Linguistics minor as part of your studies while you were at Luther?

I studied vocal performance at Luther, which introduced me to communicating in and studying new languages. As I learned how to translate operatic scores and was memorizing text in languages I couldn't speak, I became fascinated with the study of language - how languages relate to one another, change over time, and connect people. Music and language are so intertwined - my study of both singing and linguistics really complemented each other.

2. What sort of occupation or professional activity are you engaged in now?

Opera, Church Music/Worship, Private Voice Instruction

3. In what ways has the knowledge you gained through studying linguistics contributed to how you engage with your current work and/or the world in general?

As a singer, my primary goal on the stage is to communicate. Authentic storytelling relies on an understanding of the language, and whether or not I am fluent in the language I am singing in, my goal is to communicate well. My time studying linguistics at Luther has given me so much appreciation for the intricacies and history of the languages I sing in, but also a deep respect and curiosity for the languages, cultures, and people I'm around daily.
I will forever be grateful for the instruction I received from Professor Zaring about the International Phonetic Alphabet - I use IPA anytime I am learning a new operatic role or am teaching my voice students new repertoire!