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After returning home from a long day of school, senior Lauryn Capulong picks up her ukulele and sings her troubles away. She takes a deep breath and begins to sing as she plucks the chords to the tune of her favorite song, “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5.

Capulong has been singing since she was four and became interested in the ukulele in middle school. After seeing her cousin use the ukulele as a way to deal with stress, Capulong was encouraged to learn how to play it herself.

“I’ve always sung because of Whitney Houston,” Capulong said. “Playing the ukulele, however, I was inspired by my cousin. She was experienced, and I saw her as a role model.”

In the past, Capulong had a self-destructive mentality: she continuously compared herself with others and held herself back from every opportunity due to her insecurities. This caused her to constantly dwell on her past mistakes, preventing her from challenging herself fully.

“I constantly needed the validation from everyone,” Capulong said. “Singing and playing the ukulele became a therapeutic outlet that gave me the assistance I needed to relax and avoid stress.”

During her time in middle school, Capulong was enrolled in choir. She learned how to refine her vocals by improving on articulation, note and clef changes, and performing diaphragm exercises. Singing and playing the ukulele gave Capulong the ability to express herself.

“I transferred to the district in seventh grade,” Capulong said. “As a new student, I was shy, but my talents helped me get out of this invisible wall that separated myself from others.”

Capulong desires to share her talents and passions of singing and the ukulele by performing at cafes. 

”My friend and I have found cafes that allow all ages to participate in open mics,” Capulong said. “I plan to go to all the cafes I can, but hope to end up singing in those that can get me out there.”

Through singing and playing the ukulele, Capulong has experienced immense self-growth. Although music plays an enormous part in her life, she does not see it as her only defining factor, but rather something way that allows people to see a hidden side of her.

“If you love doing something and it’s your passion, nothing should stop you,” Capulong said.

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