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Alumni Spotlight: Jazzmyn “Wandering, But Not Aimlessly”

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Our Alumni do more than just teaching and we are proud to show them off! We recently spoke with Jazzmyn, who just released her first full musical album. Read below to learn more about Jazzmyn and her passion project: Wandering, But Not Aimlessly. If you want to follow Jazzmyn in her musical career, click her links at the end of her story. 

So many teachers I’ve met have had some kind of passion for the arts. Whether it be painting, crafting, dance, or music – educators often have a deep desire to self-express. I’m absolutely no exception!

My name is Jazzmyn, I’m from Washington State, and I graduated from TEFL in October 2022. Outside of teaching for Edua and working with private students, I find that most of my spare time is spent making music. I write lyrics, play the keyboard, sing, and produce my own songs. I started when I was 14 after learning I could play by ear and I have been relentlessly driven to create ever since!

Before music entered the picture, I was a very confused young person dealing with a lot of serious problems in my life – far earlier than any child should have to. Because I had no way to express the big emotions that came with having to grow up so quickly, I was unable to have relationships with people, form connections to anyone, or functionally exist in the world around me. I was failing all but my English classes, often getting kicked out of class altogether because I couldn’t behave properly like everyone else.

The day my step-father played a Tori Amos CD on his stereo, was a life-altering day for me. I remember hearing her insane piano playing, and the wild metaphors she sang, and thinking “I’ve never heard anything like this.” I sat on the kitchen floor and listened quietly. I took the CD to my room and played it on repeat. Soon after that, my step-dad traded his broken-down car for a small, old keyboard for me. I learned I could play music by ear, just like Tori.

On day 1, I played Freebird. On day 20, I played Mozart. After that, I was playing my own songs. I stayed up all night every night making songs and memorizing them in my head since I couldn’t (and still can’t) read or write sheet music. I wrote terribly cringy songs by the dozens. Those cringy songs soon turned into good songs as I improved my songwriting skills and my piano playing. I eventually downloaded a music program onto my uncle’s computer, commondered his guitar pedals and other music equipment, and got to work recording my music and teaching myself to produce.

All-the-while, something was sparking in my heart. I felt like this heavy and painful weight was lifting off of me and I could breathe for the first time. I felt like I could smile. My anger and frustration wasn’t gone, but it wasn’t eating away at me anymore. The weight of the things I had to deal with everyday were still there, but they weren’t obstructing my ability to feel joy. I was determined – you might say desperate – to ensure I never slid back into that loneliness again!

And 14 years later, I can happily say I was successful! I’ve got a degree, I’m married, I live in a beautiful country and am making friends along the way. And of course, I play music and sing everyday (I’m sure my neighbors love me)!

I have written well over 100 songs, but I’ve only recently started publishing them online under my stage-name, Rynian. I released my first full album, “Wandering, But Not Aimlessly.” a few weeks ago. I would say my genre is a mix of dark-folk alternative with some neo-celtic and grungy influence as well (I’m from Washington – home of Grunge – so this shouldn’t surprise anyone). Many of the songs from the album were written during my first years of playing, and only recorded and released recently. Each song represents a time during those years when I had to heal from something while I was still going through other troubles. They deal with some heavy topics, but also talk about overcoming them.

I have 3 other albums currently in the works as well. One of which will be a sister album to “Wandering” called “Cry For The Dead” that’s more focussed on understanding your identity after losing significant parts of yourself in different ways.

I think these songs are for people who are learning how to accept the pieces of themselves that aren’t so pretty; people who had to grow up too soon and who work hard to process their experiences. And they’re definitely for people who like more experimental alternative sounds (Björk/Aurora/Pj Harvey fans – I’m talking to you!). Truthfully, I think the songs are created to be a safe space for the listener to wander around and explore the more uncharted aspects of themselves. If you enjoy that, give the songs a listen!

I’m starting to perform around Prague for open mics and hopefully full sets soon, where it will be just little ol’ me and my keyboard (unless I find other musicians who would like to do some shows together – and if you’re reading this and think you’d like to join me, definitely contact me).

Finally, I’d like to give a little advice. I think there are some incredible and remarkable artists of all mediums, who are afraid to put their art into the world because the art space is so oversaturated. It’s scary to put your soul on the world’s plate and say “dig in!” So why risk it? I used to get adrenaline rushes whenever I posted a song or even a video of myself singing. But, despite only having a handful of listeners, almost every time I give something to the world, I hear back from at least one person that it helped them heal a little. THAT is your “Why.” Our art is made through our lens, but it’s perceived and interpreted differently by everyone who experiences it. It transforms and moves from person to person. As creators, we can also be healers, debaters, thought-provokers, problem-solvers, and (of course) teachers.

If you’d like to join me and be a part of the music journey, I have some links for you here:

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