A Return to Classical Roots: Mozart Arias for Living
An Interview with Heather Schmid
This article is sponsored by Caravia Fresh Foods, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania U.S.A.
When the world shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, like many people, Heather Schmid lost her job. Her shows and live performances were canceled and she struggled to achieve a balance with reinventing her music career and making sure her kids were safe and educated. “Heather Schmid Mozart for Coping” illustrates how this Boston Massachusetts-based American musical artist and composer found comfort in her classical roots.
“We’ve all been through a lot in the past year. Handling a global pandemic requires resilience and coping mechanisms. One really helpful coping mechanism is music,” Schmid says. “Listening to Mozart passively in the background while going about your day does seem to help things run smoothly.”Heather Schmid, International Opera Singer and Pop-Rock Star
Heather is an American GRAMMY member international recording artist, classically trained singer, musician, lyricist, television host, spokesperson, and philanthropist. She’s also the first-ever international artist to perform in many cities of China. Her pop-rock shows draw crowds upwards of 10,000 seats in arenas in China, India, UAE, Pakistan, and Europe. Her television show, “The Ambassador,” draws 200 million viewers worldwide on CCTV 9.
As she describes below in our interview, she returned to the Soundwave recording studio during the pandemic and found comfort and healing through Mozart’s operas while she recorded her latest album, “Heather Schmid Mozart Arias.” Heather graciously performed a Mozart Aria, “Una donna a quindici anni,” in an exclusive video she created for joanmatsuitravelwriter.com.
Buy her latest album on amazon.com using the link below. “Music for Healing” “Heather Schmid Mozart Arias.”
You have a varied repertoire from classical to pop music. Tell us how your music career evolved.
Beginning in middle school I started training in classical music because I lived close to Hartt School of Music. We had access to some very talented classical training teachers. Also, our high school music program was very strong; we competed in all of the local music competitions. It was such a solid foundation that I was prepared to sing in many genres. I graduated as a classically trained opera singer from Boston University but I have a personal interest in many other styles of music. After I graduated, I won the Miss Millennium International pageant and that began my pop dance music career which evolved to more international performances. As I traveled and performed more in Asia, I began to utilize my classical training. After five pop music albums, I am so glad to return to my classical roots.
How does music help us handle daily stress and heal?
We’ve all been through a lot in the past year. Handling a global pandemic requires resilience and coping mechanisms. One really helpful coping mechanism is music. Listening to Mozart passively in the background while going about your day does seems to help things run smoothly. Just like what the recent study showed that driving while listening to classical music produced less driving accidents and road rage. Some people also listen to Mozart to help them fall asleep at night time.
What effect does music have on you and what does Mozart’s music have over other composers?
The classical era, particularly the classical and baroque era of music has been found to have specific effects on the brain. It has an organizing effect to our neurological functions. The “Mozart Effect” was studied a lot in the early 2000s and countless albums were created because of this research. Mozart was a musical genius of his time. His music is composed in a way that our electrical impulses and brainwaves respond positively. That’s why many people listen to Mozart while studying because it helps our brain stay on track and stay focused. Likewise, when we are a feeling a little anxious listening to Mozart helps even out the electrical impulses in our brain.
Describe the feelings you had when you returned to the recording studio to produce “Heather Schmid Mozart Arias.” Were you away from your studio throughout COVID-19.
Like many people, I had a hard time at the beginning of the pandemic. I essentially lost my job as many people did. All of my performances and live shows were canceled. And dealing with homeschooling on the first few months of the pandemic like many other moms, I struggled with the balance in reinventing my career and making sure my kids were safe and educated. I did visit the Soundwave recording studio as a way of personal healing, and I continued to finish Mozart Arias while really enjoying the process; and I thought that if this is healing for me, it may be as well for other people going through the same things.
How did your classical fans react to your pop-dance debut and your albums “Close Your Eyes,” “The Goddess Within,” and “The Goddess Awaits?” How do you shift gears from classical to pop?
The fundamentals have to be there vocally, you need to have a really solid vocal technique in order to shift musical styles. If you have a strong technique, many styles are available to you. It’s just about singing healthy, remembering your breathing. A lot of my international fans are honestly less interested in classical music and that’s okay with me. I produced this album in hopes to bring some relaxation and healing in the best way I know how.
Your bio notes you are a Grammy member international recording artist, a classically trained singer, musician, lyricist, television host, spokesperson, and philanthropist. How do you allocate your time?
Well I have gotten really interested in habit tracking, keeping a schedule and a journal and I have a massive calendar in my office. I don’t know if I balance everything well but I do try to take advantage of the opportunities I have. It is always extremely important for me that every show benefits a local charity. That helped me connect with my values and has always been a real priority for me.
With 294K Facebook followers, 2.9M YouTube views, 18.4k followers on Instagram, and 6k on Twitter, you obviously post content that appeals to your audiences. What is your opinion about the power of social media?
Social media is extremely powerful. It allows us to connect to the rest of the world in just one click. It is important for me to use my influence in social media to always inspire people and to always spread kindness and positivity to the world. Many of my fans are in Asia so it’s the best way to stay connected. In many ways social media brings us into each other’s living rooms and it’s the best way to stay close.
What is your favorite destination and where do you hope to go post-COVID?
I have really missed performing internationally. My husband’s family is from Pakistan and I feel really close to the country. So, I look forward to returning to see them and have delicious spicy food.
What is your focus for the near and distant future?
Next weekend I have my first live performance in one year. I am performing Una Donna for Easter Sunday. It looks like for the summer, many live performance places are opening back up and I am so happy to be offered opportunities to perform Mozart Arias throughout summer. I will also continue to do more research with Neuroscience Media Group about studying how music affects the brain.
Before we close our interview, I would love to know about your role as Miss Millennium.
In high school and college, beauty pageants were a vehicle to share classical music; I had local titles, and the prize money helped pay for college. On the same weekend of my graduation at Boston University, my best friend and I went to compete at the Miss Millennium International pageant in Las Vegas. I was lucky enough to win a new car, a Kia Sportage, and a Wednesday Nights show opening for theaters in Las Vegas. I am grateful for the beauty pageant opportunities even if my feelings about the events themselves have evolved.
Relax as you watch Heather Schmid perform Una donna a quindici anni from Cosi fan tutte, one of Mozart’s 22 operas. Leave a note for Heather in the YouTube comments section.
Article Sponsored by Caravia Fresh Foods
Many thanks to my sponsor, Caravia Fresh Foods. Learn more about what makes Caravia so special and why this Clarks Summit Italian specialty store and full-service deli is always busy. Read the article here.
Learn more about Heather Schmid at heatherschmid.com.
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