Kristy Morrell

From: Charlotte, MI

Age: 44

Instrument: French Horn

Job Title: Musician; Member of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Horn Professor at USC; Faculty at The Colburn School; Urban Farmer

Favorite Drink: Green Tea

"I failed theory at Eastman because I didn’t go. I almost lost my scholarship over it too, and I didn’t come from money so I would have been leaving Eastman. It was a very stupid thing that I did. But, there were two reasons why I failed. One was that I never wanted to get up and go, which, even if you don’t like it, you have to show up to things, but two is that I’m dyslexic. It was really hard with those Roman numerals. At that time, though it seemed like the worst thing, it was one of the greatest things that happened to me because it showed me what happens when you don’t ask for help. You have to ask for help if you need it. Eventually I learned that my being dyslexic wasn’t such a horrible thing. Now it’s almost cool to have a learning disability, and people are more understanding, but back then there was a major stigma. But the cool thing is is that even though I don’t really read all the letters in words, because I use more of a speed reading technique, music was the first thing that went in right. It was the first thing that I saw correctly, and my brain was like, ‘yeah!!’ Oddly enough I have never had a problem with reading music. The human brain is weird."

How do you define inspiration? How do you define motivation?: "I guess inspiration is what makes everyone get up in the morning and do their very best. I think motivation is pretty much the same. If you are asking what motivates and inspires me, that would be working with students like you. My students keep me honest and keep me moving forward. I love the enthusiasm and dedication they bring to me every day."

Advice to others: "Ask for help when you need it. People love to help and it strengthens our community when we reach out to others."

Inspirational quote: "Fight on!"-USC Motto

Cause/Charity: Just do what you can to help where ever you see a need. My family cooks for a homeless shelter on a regular basis and it is always a good experience. Also, I try to bring music to underserved audiences as much as possible.

How do you define success?: "I would define success as being able to do what you love in the way you want to do it. Success is different to everyone and it is important to first find your dream and then go make it happen."

Any hobbies outside of music?: "I love to garden and go the the gym. I also love cooking and reading."