Twin Sister, Singer, Songwriter: Meghan Carroll

Emmy Reitinger, Staff Reporter

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As I sat down with sophomore Meghan Carroll during Mustang Block in the math hallway, I could tell she was a little nervous about being interviewed, so I thought I would start out with an ice breaker.  

“What are your top two favorite songs?” I said.

“Oh, I don’t know!  I listen to my mega-hit mix with all the songs that are like really popular right now, as well as Broadway musicals,”  Meghan said excitedly as she scrolled through her frequently listened to list on Spotify.

Without spending much time at all with Meghan, I already knew that she was a Broadway music fanatic and frequent Spotify user.

Meghan has always been into theatre, Broadway, musical instruments, and pretty much anything related to music. She’s always had an interest in playing instruments: she has played piano since second grade and played the trumpet, too, for a few years in elementary and middle school.  

She has also acted and sung in four different musicals, Chicago and Spamalot at Mason, and Willy Wonka, Jr., and The Lion King, Jr. at MEH. Meghan’s singing has extended beyond the musicals: she has loved singing for as long as she can remember and, to take her craft further, started taking voice lessons in the fall. For her personal project, she wrote three songs for piano and voice and then recorded them at a professional studio.

Meghan sits at a piano in the studio practicing her music.

Meghan sits at a piano in the studio practicing her music in preparation for her recording session. (Photo Courtesy of Megan Carroll)

“How would you describe your voice when you sing?” I asked.

“I have a very loud voice when I sing I’m so loud, if you were in my house you’d get sick of me,” said Meghan.  

“She doesn’t even realize she’s doing it, she just sings all the time,” Meghan’s twin sister, Catherine, jutted in.

Because of her love for the performing arts, and especially singing, Meghan thought the MYP Project would be the perfect opportunity to try something she’d never done before; writing and producing professional quality songs.

“I wanted to [write and record an album] for my MYP Project because I’m very passionate about music and would like to develop [more of] a talent for it. I already had some acquired knowledge from my lessons in piano and from singing lessons,  and I just sing a lot.”

Meghan spent over a month piecing together snippets of words into lines, lines into songs, and the songs into a cohesive album to make the finished product.

“I’d be watching Netflix and I would open up my notes app and just type in random things, and then I would just sit for like hours at the piano and play random chords to see what would work … they kinda just like formed, I don’t know how to explain it.”

When I asked Meghan if she thought her music taste inspired her to write her songs the way she did she responded with, “No actually, it’s not the type of music I listen to, I normally don’t listen to music like [the music I write] because it’s not so Broadway or ‘poppy.'”

Once her songs were fully written and Meghan had created the score with her piano teacher, it came time to record her songs in a professional studio, so that she could have the best quality possible.

Meghan stands behind a mic while singing.

Meghan stands singing at a microphone during her recording session. (Photo Courtesy of Megan Carroll)

“So you schedule it per hour for a studio, it was really nerve-wracking when I first got there, I was really intimidated because if you look on the wall there’s like pictures of Michael Bublé recorded there and all these people.”

Throughout the session, Meghan worked with her teacher and the recording artist at the studio who helped her re-record certain parts, what things they should tweak, and overall certain adjustments to get the best recording and songs possible.

The album cover and the titles played a huge role in fitting the songs together perfectly.

“I got a lot of input on the [album cover] … I just like looked at the artsy photos I had on my phone and that people sent me, and got input on which one was most appropriate for how I wanted to portray my songs.”

To match with the themes of her songs and of the album, after a lot of thinking, Meghan decided to title her songs: “Dare to Dream,” “Harboured Faith,” and “Far from Lost,” and the whole album was titled Dare to Dream. Meghan waited to share her songs with friends and family until everything was finished.

“It was kinda a big surprise like I’d always see her working on the piano, but I never really heard the word,”  said Catherine Carroll.

Picture of Meghan with her arms out amongst many leaves and "Dare to Dream" written in white cursive along the bottom.

The album cover that Meghan chose because she felt it best represented her songs. (Photo Courtesy of Megan Carroll)

Since Meghan didn’t show a lot of people her songs, playing them for people at the showcase was nerve-wracking, to begin with, but as more and more people listened to it and many gave positive feedback, it was easier to relax.

“I got a pretty good response from people at the showcase, so I was very happy about that,” Meghan said.

From this experience, Meghan learned so much about the process of songwriting, and how much work you have to put into it to come out with a quality piece. As for the future Meghan hopes to keep expanding and improving her musical talents, and possibly producing more songs. You can listen to Meghan’s songs on SoundCloud through this link: https://m.soundcloud.com/user-66187531