Image of Kaitlan Brazeau sitting outdoors with fall leaves in the background

Kaitlan Brazeau, 4th year Bachelor of Music. Instrument: Classical Voice

Meet Kaitlan Brazeau, a 4th-year Bachelor of Music student in Carleton’s Music program. A graduate of Canterbury Highschool’s vocal program, Kaitlan will graduate with a Bachelor of Music degree in 2021 and, after graduation, plans to pursue a Master of Arts in Carleton University’s Music and Culture program.

How did you decide to begin a Music degree at Carleton University?

After graduating from Canterbury high school in the vocal program, I completed two years of a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree at the University of Ottawa. After much introspection, I decided this was not the career path I wanted to take. I left school and opened a business with my family, a bakeshop in the Ottawa community, which I co-ran for 3 years. My time in the workforce helped me to reflect on what I really wanted to pursue in terms of a career, which was music. I began to apply to schools across Ontario and auditioned at a few of them. I was accepted to each but decided that Carleton was the best place for me.

What made you choose Carleton out of the schools you were accepted to?

When I was applying and auditioning, I knew that I wanted a smaller program that was close-knit; I really wanted a sense of community. I also liked the idea of a program where you got to know your teachers as well as your peers, as I had previously been in a very large program and felt disconnected from the faculty, staff and other students. The Carleton Music program fit this description, and I felt extremely welcomed and at-home during my audition.

What are your favourite parts of the program?

As Classical voice is my instrument, I had not had the chance to experience other modes of music-making in my training before university. Carleton offers a variety of different musical paths; from jazz, to the singer-songwriter program, and the West African drumming ensemble (or WARE), which I have participated in throughout most of my time at Carleton. Not only have I been able to attend performances of these many genres of music, but I have also participated, which has contributed to my knowledge of the vast world of music and I feel I am a more well-rounded musician and individual because of it.

Still image from Carleton Opera Ensemble performance

What is your most memorable experience at Carleton during your degree?

Every year at Carleton we have an Artist in Residence, a program that brings guest artists from around the world to teach, perform, and/or run ensembles and masterclasses in the music program. In the Winter semester of 2019, Heidi Melton was our Artist in Residence—a renowned Wagnerian opera singer based in Germany. She led the opera ensemble, which I participated in, and we performed a series of acts from various well-known operas. It was unlike any other experience I have ever had; I was singing, dancing, and acting all at the same time, in full costume. I had never been a part of a collaborative opera production before, being used to performing solo pieces with piano. I also had the privilege of taking one-on-one lessons with Heidi throughout the semester. I gained valuable knowledge and skills in performing, acting, moving on stage, vocal production, singing and performing with a group of people, and many exercises to help with performance anxiety. I am eternally grateful to her and to the Carleton MusicProgram for that opportunity.

What are your future plans?

I am graduating in April from the Bachelor of Music program and am in the process of applying for the Master’s in Music and Culture at Carleton. My main interest is in music and mental health, more specifically music and addiction. I am passionate about music being conducive to healing and coping, and my research will examine, through an ethnographic approach, the potential, and many uses of, music as a treatment for addiction. I am also interested in exploring the cultural specificities for successful treatment. I believe that Carleton is the perfect place to continue my studies and to pursue this area of research. I would eventually like to teach at the post-secondary level, and to continue doing research in music and culture. I may not have continued into a master’s degree if I didn’t love Carleton University as much as I do!