Hello, my name is Gabrielle Castle, and I am a sophomore at Spelman College, majoring in International Studies with a concentration in Pre-Law, minoring in French and music. I am a very musically inclined individual and believe that music is not only the universal language, but that it nourishes and edifies the mind, body and soul. I know, personally, that music is a healer of the body but that it has many other powers that can shift human nature and the environment. I am interested in becoming an entertainment attorney after attending law school and continue to work within the field of music and in International Relations.
I am looking forward to the courses I am taking this semester and aspire to continue excelling in my studies. I believe this class will not only increase my knowledge of African American Music, but it will give me the opportunity to learn more about the history, style, and progression of the subject matter, as well. I believe the course will be very interesting and intriguing to me, as I know how African American Music has been a reflection of the struggles, hopes, fears, love and loss, and so many other emotions of my people. I hope to learn a great deal on the subject by the end of the semester.
My experience in music began as an infant, as I was born into a family of musicians. My mother played Jazz and classical music for me while I was still in the womb and continued to do so after I was born. There were always discussions about music with me, and lessons adapted for my age on the piano, recorder, and various percussion instruments. At the age of five, I officially started classical piano lessons, though my mother and grandmother – both pianists – had, as I stated previously, been teaching me from infancy. During grade school, I played several different instruments. These included the clarinet which I started at age 9, the cello at age 12, and the bass guitar at the age of 13. Throughout grade school I was involved in Orchestra, Mariachi Band (vihuela and guitarron), marching band and Symphonic band, as well. I was principal cellist in the high school orchestra and was a member for two years of the Atlanta Public Schools Youth Orchestra for which I played my cello and clarinet. I have attended Jazz residencies at Juilliard and the University of North Texas during which I studied and played bass. Currently, I am minoring in music, participate in the Morehouse Concert Band, study cello and electric bass privately, and am a member of the Contemporary Pop Ensemble at Spelman.