Local teen finds her future with a sad song

By: emily donovan emily.donovan@gazette.com
June 15, 2014 Updated: June 15, 2014 at 4:52 pm
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Miette Hope Goldman performs an original song Thursday outside Nosh at 121 S. Tejon St. Photo contributed by Vans.

For 17-year-old Miette Hope Goldman, music has always been therapeutic.

She writes songs about everything in her life: family, death, love and breakup. She considers every experience a learning experience.

Now, her music has won her four years of full tuition, room and board.

Goldman was awarded the first Vans Berklee Off the Wall Music Scholarship. She'll be attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston this fall to major in music therapy.

She records her own vocals then harmonizes with herself as it's played back. She also plays the electric guitar and ukulele. She even beatboxes, using her voice to fill in for drums.

Jeff Dorenfeld, Berklee professor of music business management, said there was no question why Goldman was a good choice for the new annual scholarship.

"Seventeen years old, performing looping machine, articulate, bright, needs-based - everything we're looking for," he said.

Thursday, she performed for a crowd of about 75 friends, family members, co-workers from her part-time job at Ola Juice Bar, parents' friends and local musicians.

Ryan DeWitt, Vans East Coast marketing manager, said Goldman was a "perfect fit." The shoe-maker has partnered with Berklee for scholarship.

He and the Vans crew are going to get to watch her creativity at Berklee and know their scholarship made it possible.

"It's like having a kid or something," DeWitt said. "We're going to watch her grow up as a person, as a musician."

Goldman has loved music since singing with her mom as a kid. She first learned "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on the piano when she was 6.

At 11, she wrote her first song. She described the refrain as cheesy: "I've got a crush on the smartest boy in school. Not many other kids think he's cool."

Now, her favorite line is from the song she wrote about her distant relationship with her dad: "I'll become what you had hoped to be. I'll become the seed that fell far away from the tree."

"The Seed that Fell Far from the Tree," was what won the scholarship. It also helped her get through her dad's death.

She wrote it just before his death in August. She hadn't seen him in months and she didn't answer the phone the one time he tried to call.

"I try to live my life not having any regrets about any decisions that I make because I learn from every single decision," she said. "But obviously next time that I'm feeling resentful towards someone and they call me, I'm going to answer."

For a while, Goldman didn't want to play "The Seed that Fell Far from the Tree." She didn't want to hold onto all that resentment.

When she finally played it for an audience, it helped. It was the hardest time in her life, but she feels better.

She now plays the song at every show.

"It gets easier every time," she said.

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