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Hi! I’m Hillary

I’m a life coach, spiritual medium and music composer who helps people find clarity through my spiritual readings.

In addition to being a musician, medium and life coach, I am also an author, jewelry maker and cohost for the Sounds of the World Podcast. I love traveling between my hometowns of Houston and New Braunfels in Texas and Butte, Missoula and Billings in Montana. I have an M.A in music from the University of Birmingham (UK) (2018), a B.M in music from the University of Montana (2015.) and am an EAMA alumni who is still enjoying developing her skills as a musician.

Who vs. How

November 22, 2021

Who do you need to be in order to make your dreams happen?  I journal on this question a lot. When we ask ourselves, “how?!”, our brain tends to freak out. Mine does for sure. It zeroes in on every little detail I’m going to get wrong. Then I start… Read more

You Need this Feel Good Journal Prompt

April 27, 2021

As a musician, I often spend time focusing on all the areas that I can improve. Harmony, counterpoint, singing, writing, listening… the list could go on all day long. It’s easy for me to overthink it and start bashing myself for all the things I’m not doing. Sound familiar? If… Read more

You’re Not Going to be Discovered as an Artist

April 20, 2021

I still carry this giddy, larger than life hope that one day I’ll be “discovered” as a music composer. That someone will find my old works in a trash can and think “these are brilliant! We must find the person who made these”. They’ll find me at my day job… Read more

The 5 Day Self Care Challenge

April 15, 2021

Downloadable pdf of the 5 Day Self Care Challenge The 5 Day Self Care Challenge #the5dayselfcarechallenge We know that we matter. But we’re not always good at putting ourselves first. Why is that? We are conditioned to place others first. To: Not make a fuss about our experiences To downplay… Read more

Belief is a muscle

April 7, 2021

I was 28 years old when I learned that belief is a muscle. And that up until then my belief in myself was a very weak one. Who else grew up in western America? Where music is a hobby and not a career? Where hard work is valued only if… Read more

Why you feel like you’re constantly f***ing it all up as an artist

March 25, 2021

  Raise your hand if you feel like you’ve been f***ing up your career as an artist. Maybe it’s on occasion, maybe it’s constantly (like me), but something I’ve noticed across the board for us musicians and artists and creative types – we constantly feel like we’re not reaching our… Read more

Why it’s ok not to push yourself too hard during exercise – and how you’re actually still benefiting from it

March 24, 2021

I was diagnosed with covid in November of 2020 and my life has never been the same since. I was 28 at the time of my diagnosis, physically fit and otherwise a very healthy individual. An avid fitness junkie, I cycled through Beachbody programs and was working out an average… Read more

What COVID-19 Taught me about Exercise

March 17, 2021

I got COVID-19 in November of 2020, when it peaked in Montana. On November 19th, life was normal. I went to work, completed a grueling 1 hour workout, drank a protein shake and felt fine. November 20th, I could hardly function I was so achy, and by 9am I left… Read more

Never be Afraid to Write a Bad Piece

March 11, 2021

Never be afraid to write a bad piece. I was 19 when I heard these words, spoken by my freshman composition professor, Charles Nichols. I was in the early stages of learning composition – feeling completely overwhelmed by collegiate academic composition, while barely grasping theory and harmony myself. I remember… Read more

Trusting Your Artistic Instinct

January 12, 2021

“We are all born as creators.” I read about this concept in Liz Gilbert’s, Big Magic – and it’s been churning in my brain since. For most of my life, I believed without question in the magic of this idea. That my artist endeavors as a child were the perfect… Read more

How I Learned to Cope with Impostor Syndrome

December 23, 2020

Impostor syndrome is the idea that you feel like you are not who everyone else thinks you are. You feel like a fraud or ‘impostor’ and grossly unqualified for the role you are playing at work or in some other creative endeavor. For me, a music composer, it shows up… Read more

The Struggle for Art

December 15, 2020

Fear, Oppression, Emotions, Blocks, Suppression “Every artist producing works had to overcome something great to get there.” These words stopped me in my tracks. I witnessed them unfold in an interview for the podcast I co-host. I know I’m paraphrasing the words of Anahita Abbasi in the Sounds of the World… Read more

4 Rude Comments People Will Make About Your Music Career (and how to shut them down)

November 11, 2020

{Intro} There are some common facial expressions you may see when you tell someone you are a musician. Those new to music – buckle up. Seasoned musicians – I hope you have a good laugh. 10 year ago, I transferred from Montana Tech’s environmental engineering program to the University of… Read more

The Ripple Effect

October 27, 2020

Throw a pebble into still water and you’ll see a beautiful phenomenon unfold: the ripple effect. One pebble displaces the water it strikes. Which displaces the water next to it. And the water next to that. As an artist, I feel like sharing my creations is akin to tossing a… Read more

Networking for Introverts 2: Facial Recognition

October 20, 2020

Did I ever tell you about the time I attended 53 concerts in a single year? You read that right. 53 concerts. In the last two semesters of my undergraduate. That means I attended somewhere between 1-4 concerts a week. Holy buckets, why? Why does anyone do anything crazy? Procrastination… Read more

Making Peace with Fear

October 8, 2020

I am terrified of rejection. So much so that if I don’t take steps to mitigate it, I have a full-body physiological response every time I put my work out to the world. Whether that be a blog post, Instagram photo, blip on Facebook, podcast episode, idea to a friend,… Read more

A letter to my past self

September 30, 2020

It’s not a secret that I’ve struggled immensely with depression and anxiety over the years. I share this to shine a light on these dark moments and to share this message with others – you are not alone. Just under 2 years ago I returned from my Masters in a… Read more

Defining Health

September 22, 2020

In order to get healthy, I had to change my definition of health. For those of you that don’t know me well, I’ve spent the last fews years on a health and wellness journey that kicked off somewhere in 2015. It began in the form of exercise, yoga, long walks,… Read more

The Magic of Banana Bread French Toast

September 16, 2020

Banana bread french toast is amazing. I still crave it from time to time in a super-nostalgic-for-the-past sort of way. It never tastes the same when I make it. In fact I’m certain it will never be as good as it was at Food for Thought back in 2013. I… Read more

“How did I get here?” Short essay on the challenges of living a creative life

September 10, 2020

The clock is ticking at my desk. I know it’s simply a measure for keeping time, but sometimes, on these slower days, it seems to be a metaphor for a larger moving picture at play: my creative life ticking away. How did I get here? 10 years past the decision… Read more

So you love music? – Advice for the amazing souls without music degrees

September 1, 2020

One of the most talented singers I’ve ever met is my sister, Kayla. For those of you that don’t know her, Kayla is a graphic designer by day and a kick-ass spiritual medium by night – or evening – or whenever her busy schedule allows. She is a dedicated mother… Read more

Lessons from the word NO

August 25, 2020

“No.” I’ve heard this word more times than I’m happy to recall. It’s plagued my composition lessons, composition competitions, auditions, masterclasses – this word is everywhere in music. But does it have to mean the end of your musical career? Should you give up after hearing it X many times?… Read more

You are not less of a musician for experiencing performance anxiety

August 18, 2020

I used to experience performance anxiety every single time I was on stage or on the spot. I thought it meant many horrible things for my character as a musician. That I wasn’t cut out for this career path or worse – that there was something fundamentally wrong with me.… Read more

I Left Engineering to Pursue Music

August 11, 2020

I graduated from Twin Bridges High School in rural Montana. Never heard of it? Neither have half the people in my state. Twin Bridges is nestled in the Ruby Valley roughly 40-50 miles south of one of the greatest universities in the world for engineering, Montana Tech. (Or Montana Technological… Read more

3 Tips For Finding Time to Workout

August 4, 2020

Social life – Self-care – Musicianship – House-keeping. Pick 3. I’m guilty of skipping self-care and minimizing my social life to find time to do the things I want to do. The result is that I get some extra things done. But my mental health suffers in the process. Musicians… Read more

Networking for Introverts 1: Creating Confidence

July 21, 2020

Networking is all about creating connections. Most of which come from meaningful conversations with professionals, colleagues, teachers, and others. A large part of becoming a musician is simply answering questions about who you are and what it is you do. Aaand, since you don’t fit the mold for a typical… Read more

I Failed My First Choir Audition

July 5, 2020

For being a music composer, I am actually a fairly accomplished singer. I studied voice as I studied composition for all four years of my undergrad. I have been in several choruses throughout my career including the University of Montana Women’s and University Choruses, the University of Birmingham Women’s chorus,… Read more