Laura Spisla

Sometimes the path you’re on leads you to a different place from where you thought you were headed.  Such is the case with choral music education major Laura Spisla , ’18.

Laura can’t recall a period of her life when she wasn’t involved or interested in music, yet she also loves science. So she began her studies at Oregon State intending to become a dentist. But soon after the start of her freshman year, Laura says she realized two things -- the OSU music program was skyrocketing in reputation and quality and that, even with her scientific leanings, music was by far the most important thing in her life. Music was the path that would allow her to be her true self. In hindsight, she says, it seemed exactly where she was destined to be. 

Back home in Milwaukie, Oregon, her parents weren’t really shocked at all when Laura let them know she was going to change her major. It made sense to them too. 

Now close to completing her bachelor’s degree in music, Laura plans to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching and launch her career as a music educator. And even though she is close to being finished “forever” with school, Laura says she realizes that her journey has really just begun. And that there are sure to be more hills, valleys and intersections along the way.

There will always be more to learn.

More things to study.

More ways to find inspiration.

Laura says her time at Oregon State has taught her something very important: she knows that someday, when she is working as a music educator out there in the “real world,” that not every student will share her same passion. Not every student will head down the music path beyond high school. But through teaching music, she will have an opportunity to broaden her students’ minds, to expose them to different cultures and to experience feelings and emotions as a group. She knows she may inspire her students in ways of which she may not even be aware, and that her influence may be carried with them as they travel their own journeys.

Story and photos by Zachary C. Person