Moving Beyond Sound with Kala Artist Mandy Harvey
We spent this past Wednesday with Mandy, her first visit since joining the Kala artist roster in February. Over the next few months, we'll be working alongside Mandy to design her custom Elite Super Tenor, a model based on the Kala Spruce/Myrtle Elite Super Tenor.
We also made time in the day to sit down and listen to Mandy's story and how each of us can help inspire and uplift others.
"My name is Mandy Harvey," she starts off. "I am a singer-songwriter."
There is a pause.
"Who happens to be deaf."
Losing her hearing was devastating - the world that she knew since the age of 4 collapsed. Yet, as she admits, it gave her the opportunity to start from scratch.
Starting over meant a greater sense of awareness and appreciation for music. She began to feel music. Vibrations from the instrument on her chest, through her arms to her fingertips. It had always been there. She just never paid attention.
She works harder than ever before, refusing to be limited by others' expectations. Or her own.
"Nobody really knows what you're capable of. You just have to keep discovering it every day."
When she started over with music, it took 10 hours to finish humming her first song. She thought her dad was crazy for telling her to try. Ten years, thousands of hours practicing and hundreds of performances later, she found herself on the largest platform yet, America's Got Talent.
Winning the competition was never her goal. She felt a greater responsibility. She wanted to prove that what's within you is so much stronger than the barriers you face every day.
Perfection no longer drives her process. "I already lost my hearing," she says. "What's the worst that can happen now? I sing the wrong note? Who cares. It won't destroy me."
Her approach to songwriting is similar. She forces herself to keep all of the songs that she has written, from the laughably awful to the globally inspiring songs like "Try."
Music without sound has become imperfectly perfect.
To Mandy, inspiration can be found everywhere. While most of us will not find ourselves with a platform as large as hers, each of us can bring a smile to someone else's life.
Play a few chords for a neighbor.
Write a song for a loved one.
Spend a lazy day at the beach with friends.
Music allows you to learn about yourself. It gives you the ability to grow by communicating your feelings and emotions beyond traditional barriers. It is the universal language that connects the world.
Whatever your instrument, take advantage of your playing and recognize that you could be inspiring someone the same way that Mandy inspires us at Kala.