I am highly motivated, driven, and work well under pressure. I am organized, task oriented, and always arrive early. These qualities could be considered assets to an entrepreneurial career, however there are definitely some qualities I need to work on. I tend to be shy about my skills, I hate when people randomly ask me to sing, and don’t like to perform in intimate settings. I don’t like to talk about myself or my art for fear of sounding vain; however, I recognize that this is a necessary task for entrepreneurial artists. I also tend to procrastinate, rather than completing tasks immediately, something which affects not only my artistry, but my success as a student.

Elevator Pitch

Hi, I’m Harley Jones, not Davidson, and no, my family is not really into motorcycles. I am studying Voice and Political Science on the Pre Law track at SMU. I have been obsessed with music since I can remember and have been studying voice privately and participating in choral programs since I was 10. However I am also extremely passionate about shaping the world and believe that part of being a responsible citizen is being conscientious about what is going on in the world around us. I hope to to channel these passions into a thoughtfully directed career as a performing musician, or later in life a career in entertainment or international law. You may contact me by email or phone, and feel free to visit my website for any performance updates. Do you have a card I could take? I would love to talk more about what I could do for you.

Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose.

I am motivated by myself. To me, the best kind of success is the knowledge that I achieved something I previously thought was unattainable. However after reading Ken Bain’s article on motivation I realize that I am heavily reliant on outside sources to motivate me as well.

I am motivated by the recognition of my peers for my achievements. I am motivated by the praise of my parents for my success. I am motivated by the respect of my teachers for my academic excellence. But should this all be intrinsic? We are taught from a very young age that we are to take ownership of our own successes and failures, but at the same time we are shown by outside action that without the approval of outside sources, our achievements are devalued.

Dan Pink defines the secret to motivation as Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. To be able to be individually successful at something and have a clear cut design for your intentions. If this is actually a formula of sorts, then why do we seek so much approval from outside sources? Relying on others for self worth and value seems to lead to a lack of motivation more often than not.

As an artist and a student, I am most fulfilled when I have created for the purpose of learning or making myself better or more effective, proof that the root of motivation must alway come from my own desire to grow.

Values Added

What are “values” in an artistic sense? Should artists add their values to their art, or art to their values? It could be argued that artistry should begin at an organic place, away from preconceived ideas and beliefs so as to produce the most authentic product, however the point could also be made that art conceived without consideration of values can never truly be honest.

I tend to hold with the second. As a follower of the Christian faith I believe it my duty to act with as much kindness and thoughtfulness as I can, and to incorporate that into every aspect of my daily life. However I don’t think that means that portraying the darker sides of life is something off limits to me. My Christian values dictate the person I want to become, but it is also my job as an artist to show the world for what it is, good and bad.

Perspective. That’t what makes the difference. Art can be interpreted a million different ways, and those ways are affected by the values of the interpreter. At the end of the day, it’s our jobs as audience members or performers to decide, based upon our own inherent value system, how we interpret what we see and who we are.

Sing, Run, Study, Sleep, Repeat.

I work most effectively under some variation of the above, although I do wonder what I could do to make myself more effective. Perhaps a change in study locations, or moving to a place with fewer distractions, because studying in a hall full of 18 year olds is practically impossible.

Although I run nearly every day, I still find that I am extremely stressed. After reading the articles I find that it could definitely have something to do with low self efficacy. I find that I am almost never confident in my ability to perform, and am even less frequently satisfied with the result of a performance. On some level this motivates me to practice more, and work harder, but I can also see how it can be damaging to my craft, and my personal health as an artist.

I will approach this week with a more positive attitude and attempt to approach all of my work with a higher self efficacy.

“So…you’re like Pitch Perfect?”

Hi, I’m Harley, and I like to sing.

That’s how I can describe myself in the simplest of terms, but at the core, I am so much more than a singer, and my passion for art transcends “like”, and is probably more aptly categorized as an obsession.

For all the reality TV junkies out there, I know you have heard the phrase “I was born to do  this” about 298739475394739489 times. Generally in a line of over a thousand people, and accompanied by tears of joy and/or flashy smiles to the camera. Well unfortunately I am here to deliver you the same line. As corny as it may seem, I truly believe I am here to sing. I suppose the difference between me and my fellow artists at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, and the thousands of people lined up to be America’s-Next-Top-Idol-Chef-Voice-Dancer, is that rather than hoping for opportunities, we are creating them. We study harder, we practice longer, and we perform more responsibly because of that dedication.

I am here at Meadows to cultivate a skill I have been honing since I was ten years old singing in church. I am here to make seven years of private voice worth the money. I am here to make thousands of hours of choral rehearsals worth the missed parties and social outings. I am here to work.  It may seem strange to dedicate so many hours to something that many people don’t even realize requires much study, but singing passionately is not enough. Passion without precision is careless, and the world has no place and no time for artists who practice without care.

So yes, when people ask if being a voice major is like living Pitch Perfect, I guess it kind of is, but there are also major differences. Granted, the movie is hilarious, but refining an art is often  less fun than it is stressful. When you love something, you polish it until it’s perfect; you want it to be the absolute best form of itself it can be. Although every step in that process may not be as entertaining as a Barden Bellas rehearsal, the product is something to be proud of, and it is the reason why I am here.

So this is me. Harley Jones. Voice Major. Dallas, TX.

Let’s make some music.