My journey to songwriting starts with my parents and their passion for sports. My mom, Jen Kent, went to Colby College and played soccer, basketball and lacrosse. While my dad, Jeff Kent, attended Bowdoin College and played on the football and wrestling teams.
In the early 90s, they met at Hyde and got married. During their time here, they coached various sports teams, continuing to explore their passions in new ways. Fun fact, my mom started the girls lacrosse program. (I will be assisting the team this Spring, full circle moment!)
4 of my siblings spent their early childhood years of life on Bath’s campus before my parents moved to Massachusetts, where I and my sister Addison were born.
They raised all six of us to value being a part of a team. We played every sport under the sun and we HAD to try everything. I remember practically kicking and screaming on the ice hockey rink because I was the only girl out there in elementary school. That’s how valuable sports have been in our family since before I can remember. We played soccer, lacrosse, basketball, hockey, everything. Reflecting on it now, my parents brought the value of getting outside of our comfort zone into our household in a powerful way. We were always to strive to be courageous in our pursuits, no matter how big or small they may be.
Four of my siblings went on to play division one lacrosse in college and my mom went on to win a national championship as a coach for Boston College women’s lacrosse. I bring this up just to emphasize just how big of a sports world I grew up in.
So, as you may imagine, I spent most of my life running around to fields and rinks, playing competitively on teams and doing a lot of watching from the sidelines as the youngest sibling. I was left with a lot of time to listen to music and explore my curiosity for it. As time went on, I ended up really falling in love with it. I spent loads of time just singing & watching youtube tutorials on how to play the guitar when I would get home from practices. Over, and over, and over again.
Around sophomore year of high school I found myself at Hyde by way of my parents! At that time in my life I was searching for something that I could own, separate from my siblings and my parents, and that became music for me.
In my eyes, Hyde was really cool because it leveled out the playing field. I didn’t feel different or judged for wanting to explore music, singing, and dancing, because everyone else had to do it too. There were integrated spaces to do exactly that, like in music class, the songwriters workshop, and performing arts. Coming from a sports world, as a young person trying to tap into the arts, it felt liberating to be a part of a community where I could do both. I could be captains on sports teams and write songs & perform them on stage, both within the same day. I feel like I really discovered my potential as a young person in both of those arenas.
Songwriting really stuck for me, it gave me an outlet to express challenges, struggles, and reflections on who I was in relation to the world and the people around me. I’ve found that the values of repetition, collaboration, and discipline in sports have really translated into my practice of music, and that’s been pretty cool to reflect on. I really do thank my parents for instilling those values in me at a young age. And, Hyde! They definitely brought the good stuff into our core family values and principles.
As a Teaching Faculty member here at Hyde, it feels I’m on a new journey of discovering my unique potential in both areas of my passion - in coaching and teaching songwriting.
“Running” is a song I wrote while I was a student at the University of Denver. I wrote it as a declaration of sorts, of running away from who I “thought” I should be and towards who I want to be. Right now, I hope to bring curiosity into the classroom and the sports fields. Above all else, to empower my students/players to be courageous in their pursuits, on and off the field!