The voice from within

Singing provides a positive outlet for junior


Photo contributed by Emma Meredith

Junior Emma Meredith is practicing her ukulele. She likes to play it while singing.

As junior Emma Meredith has been coping with her mental health and a father who struggles with alcoholism, there have been times of complete hopelessness. But her voice has been a gentle hand that has led her to inner peace. 

“Music has provided me with mental clarity and something else to focus on rather than the outside noise.” Meredith said. 

Recently, she has found a new purpose through singing that has benefitted her. Singing has become a therapeutic outlet to better herself, grow stronger in her faith and pull herself out of a dark place. 

In 2018, everything took a turn for Meredith’s family. They were going through a lot of ups and downs, which resulted in them sharing anxiety and depression. Her father had been drinking after work every day and was eventually sent to the hospital. His body just couldn’t handle it anymore. Meredith says that it was devastating to see her tight-knit family become broken so quickly. 

Her father decided he wanted a change so he signed up for rehab to turn things around, which happened to be the time Meredith struggled the most. She says her and her father had a close relationship and she felt alone without him. The rest of her family struggled to keep up with their emotions and cope with the situation as well. 

“Watching my dad fall apart and struggle his way through an addiction is a pain I’ll never be able to describe,” Meredith said. 

Through this heart breaking time for her she developed an eating disorder. She says she shifted her focus to her weight because it was one of the few things she had control over at the time. 

“Watching my dad recover inspired me to recover and take control of my life again,” Meredith said. 

During this emotional time is when Meredith decided to go to church. This helped her with stress, anxiety and depression. She says that she instantly fell in love with the atmosphere created during worship at her church and found a love for singing gospel music.

“Experiencing that was when I really found my love for worship,” Meredith said. “And I decided to do something with it.” 

Her friend, junior Hope Reynolds, says that she goes with Meredith to church every weekend and encourages her to join the worship team. 

“I really bring it up to her a lot and try to push her to join the worship team…,” Reynolds said. “I bug her about it a lot.”

When it comes to inspiration, her church has played a big role in helping her. She said that going back to church and having the opportunity to worship has really changed her life.  

Meredith says that she has been singing since she could remember. She says her parents encouraged her to start singing more because it was something she was very talented at. At the time she didn’t believe it or care enough to dive deeper into singing, but years down the road she began to sing more and more. And she eventually started posting videos on her private Instagram account.

“I got a lot of good feedback,” Meredith said. “And that’s when I realized, maybe I could be better than I thought I was.”

When she began to realize that singing 

was something she was passionate about, she joined the SHS Show Choir. She ended up not being able to continue singing with them after being too involved in other activities and not having time. Although she had to quit, she

enjoyed her time there and enjoyed seeing other students that had genuine passion just like her.

When she started listening to music early on in middle school, she was listening to country and then it eventually changed to pop. But recently, it has turned to a little bit of alternative music. She enjoys a lot of Hillsong and modern gospel music like her church listens to. 

She also enjoys listening to other artists like Mac Demarco and Fleetwood Mac.

Junior Ellie Brown has seen Meredith’s voice grow over the years. When they hangout, she often sings for fun.

“It is a very good outlet for her,” Brown said. “No matter what mood she is in, she will sing because it makes her feel better in any situation.”

Her friends always enjoy hearing her sing. She says they are all always so supportive of her singing. 

“I don’t know how to explain it but she has one of those voices where we will be singing in the car, and we will all quiet down so we can hear her sing,” Reynolds said. 

No matter if Meredith decides to join her church’s worship team or continues to sing in the car with her friends, music will always be something beyond precious to her. 

“When I sing it’s kind of like the whole world is quiet,” Meredith said. “I don’t hear anything else. It is just me in that moment and nothing else matters.”