Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Humans of Oxford: Selena Pickett: Self-taught pianist

It's 5:30 a.m. and Selena Pickett's alarm has just gone off. She rolls out of bed. Drowsily, she gets ready for the day -- making her bed, getting dressed and fixing breakfast in her chilly dorm room. But she has one morning routine that many others don't: she practices piano.

As a psychology major and criminology minor, Selena plans on heading to law school after graduation. But that isn't her sole focus. If she had a choice, there is another dream job she'd rather have: musician.

Selena entered her first singing competition at age 10. Then, when she was 13, she set her sights on the piano.

Selena has been surrounded by music her whole life. Most of the people in her family play instruments, so singing and picking up an instrument wasn't new to her. But that doesn't mean she had help.

She taught herself how to play the piano. She went to the library and checked out books and spent a lot of time on Google to learn how to play.

Although she has come far since she started, being self-taught comes with its own challenges.

"I get self-conscious when I see others who have been taking lessons for years and years," Selena said.

She also looked into minoring in music, but found out that no one in the program is self-taught.

But music is still a big part of Selena's life. She listens to it while studying, and, if she's feeling stressed, she does anything music-related to calm herself down. Music is Selena's escape.

"I've always been a quiet person. It's the best way to express my emotions," Selena said. "When I'm performing -- it's when I'm most open."

Even though the music industry isn't easy, if given the opportunity, she would love to pursue music in the future.

"If I didn't have to worry at all, I would be a musician."

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

On campus, Selena is a member of the Miami University Gospel Singers, but she doesn't play piano for anyone but herself.

For now, Selena will continue to spend her mornings practicing piano while her roommate, and most of campus, continues to sleep.