My Music. My Story. is one of Classical Music Indy’s initiatives to feature music, musicians, and music lovers in a fun way. This week we talk to Anne Maschmeyer, Beautification Director with Downtown Indy, Inc. She talks about her career and how music influences her life and work as a proponent of improving quality of life in Indianapolis.
Anne Maschmeyer: My Music. My Story.
What is your favorite kind of music and why?
Classic Rock and Roll, with old school Motown and classical shortly behind. Led Zepplin, Eagles, Eric Clapton, The Who, Journey and The Beatles. Smokey Robinson, The Jackson Five and The Temptations run deep in me and always make me want to dance! This is the music I grew up with when I was an impressionable teenager attending Manual High School and through college at Purdue.
What does music mean to you?
Music transforms my soul and alters my mood. I like listening to WICR during the morning drive and I turn up the classic rock and roll on the ride home. Music takes me to another place emotionally; it can turn my mood very quickly to a place of comfort. Music allows my soul and mind to expand and I’m able to appreciate musicians’ creativity and skill.
How has music influenced your life?
Music is always been a part of my life. I grew up on the southside and our home was filled with classical, jazz and pop. Mom and I both loved to sing and she taught me to harmonize while we ran errands in the car. In grade school, we could participate in Music Memory, a program by IPS and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO). I got a perfect score and was selected to attend the ISO’s concert at Clowes Hall to hear the pieces live. When I was in 5th grade, I began playing the cello, which introduced me to more classical music and I had the honor to play in All-City and All-State orchestras during high school. I took piano for lessons for 7 years and taught myself guitar. I sang in both the Girls Glee Club and the Choir. Today, I sing alto in my church choir, which fills my soul with joy! My partner and I have half season tickets to the ISO, which we really love. We enjoy both classical and pop programs at the ISO. Mom and I sing hymns which bring us both happiness.
Do you think there are opportunities for music and the beautification work you do for Downtown Indy, Inc. to intersect?
I’ll admit I sing and hum when I’m planting or weeding! I think there’s an opportunity for artists to be part of the Downtown beauty; perhaps poets or painters to share their craft on Monument Circle. Beauty is more than just plants.
What is the best part about the work you do?
Beautification is a quality of life, intrinsic value and I love connecting people with nature. Our souls crave living beauty, like trees, flowers and beautifully-designed landscapes. We feel better after we’ve enjoyed a pocket park or sat on a bench and just breathed in the air during a busy day.
What made you decide to work with the beautification efforts of Downtown Indy, Inc.?
For 18 years, I worked in the interiorscape business and I was ready for a change. Downtown Indy, Inc. provided me the opportunity to combine my horticultural knowledge, sales experience and passion to fulfill my dream of making our Downtown clean, beautiful and vibrant.
How do you think music benefits the Indianapolis community?
Listening to music reduces stress, anxiety, blood pressure and heart rate. Studies show that students involved in public school music programs scored 107 point higher on the SATs than students with no music participation. I love to watch and hear our Metropolitan Youth Orchestra play before ISO concerts. It reminds me of the joy I had playing cello as a youth and making new friends. My spirit is filled with pride knowing these young musicians will be able to perform better in group activities as adults, be more open and creative, make new friends and make beautiful music with others. What could be more uplifting than that!!