My parents signed me up for piano lessons in Kindergarten, and I owe everything that followed to them. I studied with three piano teachers over ten years, including a scary one who chewed on peppercorns and kept pet peacocks.

To make a long story short, my primary instrument is now accordion, which I play as part of my street show, Sophie’s Smokin’ Squeezebox. Busking enabled me to live a nomadic, international lifestyle for six years after college.

Although I had amazing adventures, I lacked a sense of community during that time, so at the end of 2015 I decided to move to the Boston area. While canvassing for Bernie during the primary elections in March of 2016, I heard wafting music (“We Got That Fire”) and followed it until I found the source.

I adore brass music. Especially trumpets. And so I ditched my plans (whoops) and followed the parade. I thought to myself, “I would absolutely love to do this. It’s too bad I don’t play an instrument that counts.”

Fast-forward to January 1st, 2017. It’s a new year, I have resolutions. Specifically, to be more musical and to be more social. To make some new like-minded friends. So when my friend Matt Morin (HONK clarinetist who I know as a fellow accordion player) told me that I, in fact, count as a reed instrument and invited me to HONK, I eagerly accepted.

I immediately fell in love with HONK. I love the welcoming, low-key musical environment and I love that it’s full of fun, creative people who are keen to hang out after. I find it incredibly fulfilling musically and socially. It was exactly what my life in Boston was missing, and I only wish I had joined sooner. Several weeks in, I purchased a melodica (louder than accordion).

When I’m not at HONK, I continue to perform on the streets as well as substitute teach elementary school and sing with Chorus pro Musica. Soon I will be starting grad school for a Master’s in Elementary Education, a career in which I’ll use as much music as they’ll let me.