Outstanding Graduate: Kiya Klopfenstein, School of Music and DancePage Title

May 17, 2021
Kiya Klopfenstein
Kiya Klopfenstein

Pivoting career paths from performing to becoming a secondary school music teacher, Kiya Klopfenstein's desire is to make a direct impact through sharing her love for music.

“While I loved playing in my ensembles, my most joyous times were working with a visiting group of high school and middle school students, or when my chamber group played for a local middle school. Their budding spark of joy towards music became one that I wanted to protect and grow,” Klopfenstein notes.

Despite her everlasting passion for music, Klopfenstein experienced the battle of burnout.

“As a student and as a musician, there is always this drive to be doing as much as you can at all times, whether that be taking graduate-level courses as an undergrad, playing in multiple ensembles, being in multiple organizations, or all of it at once,” Klopfenstein says. "It harmed me through my college career and led me to face times where I physically could not get out of bed and make it to class. I would shut down from the burnout and not do work, which would, in turn, give me more work to catch up on.”

Overcoming this obstacle, Klopfenstein says, “I am learning to turn down projects and to give myself rest when I already have enough on my plate. I try to take smaller bites of work and manage my stressors. Resting and avoiding burnout is a continuous process, however, I have grown more skills to handle life and whatever gets thrown at me.”

Sharing her wisdom, Klopfenstein says to the next generation of incoming SDSU freshman, “try doing and learning things, even if it is scary or nerve-wracking or you feel unqualified; it’s never too late to pick up something new and the best time to try is now.”

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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