Meet Katherine – the Musical Engineer

Instagram has no shortage of individuals in the STEM fields who embrace a passion for creative expression. One of our favorites is Katherine (@naturallyshe) whose page is filled with awesome, 60 seconds or less, piano covers of anyone from Adele to Stevie Wonder to even Ludwig van Beethoven!

Katherine is an engineer, musician, and teacher in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  Inspired by her own personal story and passions, she has been on a journey to highlight the parallels between music and STEM.

Her musicianship started over 20 years ago, when she started taking piano lessons, learning music theory, notation, and performance.  She took lessons for 11 years, and since went on to accompany vocalists at church and events, and currently teaches piano to both children and adult students.

As a young child, she had an aptitude and love for math, but didn’t quite know how that could translate into a future career.  At the time, internet was not ubiquitous; as well, STEM outreach programs were not prevalent, so she wasn’t even aware of STEM fields.  But a chance conversation with her high school physics teacher steered her to declare an engineering major in college, and she went on to pursue two degrees in Civil Engineering.

Today, Katherine works as both an engineer and a musician.  While teaching piano lessons, she began to recognize the parallels between music and engineering. One of the foremost parallels is that the skills gained as a musician (whether learning, listening to, or performing music) develop the ability to recognize and decipher patterns.  Music also develops creative thinking which can strengthen problem solving. Music builds imagination which leads to innovation and new design.

In 2015, Katherine started documenting these parallels and sharing them on Instagram, along with media portraying her embodiment of the music+STEM message.  In doing so, she hopes to  shed light on STEM and encourage/inform artistic students that their passion, gifts, skills, and discipline as artists/musicians can be deployed in STEM.

Fun Fact: She also has her Professional Engineering license

Watch this inspiring rendition of her singing “World’s Greatest” 🙌🏽

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