Sophomore Madeline Chapman is a true lover of singing


Madeline Chapman

A photo from Madeline Chapmans latest choir solo

Sophomore Madeline Chapman didn’t have a person or an artist influence her; instead, her passion came from a movie. 

“I remember that I used to watch The Sound of Music every week,” Madeline said. “I was obsessed with [it].”

After countless viewings of the iconic movie, Madeline found her love for singing. She joined the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus in the fifth grade, and shortly after, her neighbor—Central Middle School Choir teacher Pam Kriekard—nudged her to join the school’s choir. Madeline has been a part of it since the eighth grade now, and as a sophomore, she is a member of the Central Singers and Treble Chorus. 

Madeline has many singing commitments, but that does not stop her from singing on her own time or singing at church gigs with her brother, including the time the siblings performed at their mother’s wedding. 

“Well, [my brother and my] relationship is pretty good just by itself,” Madeline said. “So [singing has] made it better. He doesn’t like singing in front of people, so it has contributed to a few fights, but it still has kept us close.”

Madeline and her brother’s relationship is only one connection that has been affected by her adoration for singing. She has made friends through the multiple choirs she is a part of as well.

“Well [in] Treble Chorus, there are seven or eight people, so we’re all pretty close,” Madeline said. “I made new friends that way. A lot of people in Central Singers are pretty nice. Also, one of my best friends was the one that got me into the Youth Chorus, and she is still one of my best friends. I’ve also made friends in the [Grand Rapids Youth Chorus]. They go to different schools, so that’s cool.”

Human connections are strengthened by understanding others. Madeline feels as though through singing and comprehension of lyrics she also can be extra sympathetic to people. 

Lyrics are rather important factors when it comes to singing; without them, the choir would simply be humming. Madeline has a deep appreciation for the words that allow her to sing. 

“I love the lyrics when I’m singing—it’s all about the lyrics,” Madeline said. “And it’s like I feel the emotions the person [who wrote the song] was feeling. So it’s not like one specific emotion that I always feel when I sing. It feels like it’s something in touch with emotions.”

Singing has taught Madeline innumerable lessons, ones she could not have truly learned without opening her mouth and allowing notes and words to spew out. She has connected with people through the many choirs she is in; through lyrics, she can now truly understand people. 

Singing requires exposure to many different genres of music. It is not always pop songs—Madeline’s favorite—but many different songs are sung in the three separate choirs. This display of melodies is another way singing has educated Madeline. 

“It’s definitely opened my eyes to what type of music there is out there and the amount of different types that there are,” Madeline said, “but it hasn’t really affected [my music taste]. I don’t really [listen to] choir music very much— I like singing it but it wouldn’t be my favorite [to  listen to].”

Singing is one of Madeline’s greatest passions. She has dedicated so much time and effort to it and has made and strengthened relationships through it. She has been taught a multitude of lessons. She urges everyone to sing. 

“Just do it,” Madeline said. “ You open your mouth and sing. Find a place in your community [where] you can sing. It doesn’t even have to be [in public]. Just sing a song.”