Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augie Alumna returns for music therapy performance

Lauren Anderson (Vocals and guitar) is accompanied by Meg Williams

Last Friday, Oct. 5, Lauren Anderson, an Augustana alumna, returned to speak with students about her experience in the fields of music therapy and musical performance.
After graduating from Augustana in 2007 and working in music therapy for several years, Anderson decided to take her music expertise and apply it to performing with her band. “I guess it’s kind of a roots rock, soul vibe. That’s the broad spectrum of what I’m doing right now,” said Anderson when asked to describe her recent work as a performer. Since graduating from Augustana, she has gotten her master’s degree, released several albums and singles, and been awarded the 2015 Midwest Music Awards Female Vocalist of the Year award.
During her time as an undergraduate student at Augustana, she studied music therapy with the help of her advisor, Sangeetha Rayapati. However, she never let her professional track limit her interests or prevent her from pursuing her passions. “Even back then, she was carving her own path. She was kind of a nontraditional student,” said Rayapati when asked about her experience as Anderson’s advisor. While performing wasn’t her primary focus as an undergraduate student, she was still a talented singer. “She had a big voice, she had an operatic voice. Now I hear that bigness, but it’s used in a blues genre, and it’s lovely to hear,” said Rayapati.
Anderson’s career path hasn’t been a typical one, but she’s certainly had success making her own career choices as a professional musician. According to Anderson, she owes some of this success to Augustana. “One thing I like about Augustana and the music department is that they’re very open to letting students create their own path. It’s very open-minded,” said Anderson. Augustana allowed her to make the choices that led to her success as a singer, and it can do the same for current students. “They help find resources for you. That was my experience, and it was nice to see that that’s definitely still happening.”
As someone who has had to follow her own path, Anderson has learned a lot about what it means to create a unique career path. As a returning Augustana alumna, she wishes to share some of that knowledge with current undergraduate students. “I think everybody’s path is a little different. Life doesn’t owe you anything and life doesn’t hand you much,” said Anderson to current students. “I think the biggest piece of advice is: whatever you want to do, you’ve got to really work hard at it. You’ve got to put in the time and you have to be open to change.”
If you would like to contact Anderson or find out more about her music, visit or check out her music on iTunes, Spotify, and Apple Music. Anderson is available on many social media platforms and can be reached at her contact information listed on her website.
Photo Above: Lauren Anderson (Vocals and guitar) is accompanied by Meg Williams during her concert on Oct. 5. Photo by Ian Murrin.

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Augie Alumna returns for music therapy performance