Meet Becca Paoni

Becca Paoni

The Herkimer Central School District Spotlight showcases current student, graduate, and staff member successes.

Becca is a HHS Class of 2010 graduate.

What’s your favorite high school memory?

My favorite part about high school was the extracurricular activities (surprise). There is no specific memory that stands out to me, but being able to turn off my brain after school and spend time at cheerleading or softball practice or rehearsal for the musical were always the best times. We spent afternoons laughing about things I don’t remember, but I’ll never forget how hard we laughed.

What have you been doing since you graduated from Herkimer High School?

After high school, I went straight into school at Nazareth College of Rochester to pursue a degree in music therapy, where my primary instrument was voice. Four and a half years of schooling and an internship later, I now work in San Diego at The Music Therapy Center of California as a full-time music therapist. I work with all ages—from 2 to 102. I get to use my knowledge of science, music, and the brain to address an array of physical, communication, social, emotional, and cognitive goals. Many of my clients have special needs (such as Autism Spectrum Disorder or Down Syndrome) or disorders of aging and cognition (dementia/Alzheimer’s disease), as well as other diagnosis (Traumatic Brain Injury, Cardiovascular Accident, Cerebral Palsy, etc.). I am often able to collaborate with other therapists, such as PT, OT, ABA, and SLPs, so I am constantly learning. I am completely convinced that I have the best job on the planet, because I get to help people every day.

Did anyone from Herkimer Central School District influence you in becoming who you are today?

There were a lot of great teachers at HHS, but the most influential person in my life was Mr. Krause. He always challenged me to push myself and grow, but was also there to help and encourage me along the way. He believed in me before I ever did, and he is the reason I was confident enough to pursue music both during and after high school.

What advice do you have for current Herkimer High School students?

Herkimer is a great school. There are lots of opportunities for you to grow and foster meaningful relationships, but you’re only there for a few short years, and it is only one small place on this earth. When you leave (and even while you’re there), don’t limit yourself. The world is bigger. Go out and see it.

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