We had the good fortune of connecting with Pretty Stringz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pretty Stringz, how does your business help the community?
Pretty Stringz is a brand used to influence the world through music, storytelling, and teaching. Although most people are familiar with watching me live in concert as a performing violinist, very few people are aware that I am also a full-time music teacher. After college, I moved back to Detroit, MI to teach in my childhood neighborhood. The goal was to be the support system that I had and the support system that I needed as a child. In my classroom, music is used to build the creativity and confidence of my students. Playing beautiful music is the goal, but to ultimately play beautiful music while learning transferable skills that can be used for a lifetime. My students are encouraged to chase after their wildest dreams, and I believe being a real-life example of resilience, faith, grit, and determination is powerful. To them its more than just words, but they can say “if my teacher did it, so can I”.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
At the age of nine, I began playing the violin. When my elementary school made the announcement that violin class was being offered, my mom didn’t hesitate to sign me up. At a young age, I exceeded the expectations of my music teachers and was placed at the top of my class. This built my confidence and led to my acceptance to attend the Detroit School of Arts as well as the opportunity to study with Detroit Symphony Orchestra member, Marian Tanau. During my sophomore year of high school, I stirred up my orchestra classmates, as I challenged many seniors for their seats – eventually moving up to the assistant concert mistress position. Junior and senior year, I earned the leadership position of being the concert mistress of the orchestra.
My senior year of high school was also my 8th year of being a classically trained violinist. My curiosity took over and I began exploring other genres of music including: pop, jazz, gospel and hip-hop. At that time, I decided that I wanted to become a live performing artist and travel the world, but my parents advised me to attend college. During that time, many people wanted to know what life looked like after college. Often times, I was looked down when I mentioned performing on the violin. It wasn’t a typical career, contemporary violinist were rare and I was told to be a doctor or lawyer. However, I knew the visions I saw of myself performing on large stages all around the world. At that age, I knew there was something different about me. I continued my education at the illustrious Florida A&M University and earned a bachelor’s in music and a master’s degree in public administration.
Big dreams are for anyone who desires to live out their full potential. My journey included a lot of tears, fighting the opinions of others and disbeliefs that I would be successful, but it made me stronger. During times of uncertainty, I looked in the mirror and spoke positivity “you can do it”, “your performance will be amazing, they will love you”, “you will be a nationally renowned violinist”. In times that we face adversity, we must stand tall for our beliefs. Although the world couldn’t see the vision God gave me, I had a clear vision of what I would accomplish in life. When others didn’t support me, I smiled and continued to move forward, I believe in me. I want the world to know that although it’s cliche to say, the world is literally yours! Anything is possible, but it takes heart. character and belief in yourself. My first single is titled “Mirrors” and it was written to encourage people from all over the world to challenge themselves when they look in the “Mirrors”. We know our full potential, now it’s time to live it out!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Detroit was rated #1 for the best riverwalk on USA Today. I love the river view, so we would take a walk along the riverwalk and stop by Motor City Jet-Ski’s for some fun on the water. I’m also a fan of live concerts so we would go to Aretha’s Jazz Café. On a summer evening, we would visit the outdoor roller-skating rink in downtown Detroit with beautiful art and murals. Good laughs are my favorite so Punchline Comedy would be on our itinerary. There are so many great places to eat, Joe Muer has a balcony river view that is beautiful, Townhouse has the best truffle fries, Jagged Fork and Dime are my favorite brunch spots, Savannah Blue has amazing soul food, Bakersfield has amazing tacos and Bucharest Grill has mouth-watering chicken shawarma’s.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, there have been so many influential people in my life that have pushed and helped mold me into the person that I am today. First, I would like to thank my parents for signing me up for violin class in elementary class and supporting me throughout my music career. Next, I would like to thank the teachers and staff at Detroit School of Arts and private violin instructors, for setting the bar high and allowing me to step outside of “the norm”. I was the student that loved classical music, but always wanted to explore gospel, jazz, pop, and other genres of music. I would also like to thank the music faculty and staff at Florida A&M University for educating and supporting me.
Youtube: Pretty Stringz
Woobenz of Aesthetic Detroit Charlie G Justin Milhouse