For Natalie Spencer, music is therapy.
She was one of the singers during Queens’ 10th anniversary observance for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “Every time they played videos showing the towers collapsing I was reminded of the song ‘Only Time’ by Enya,” she says.
When Natalie came to Queens in the fall of 2009, she decided music therapy was a natural major, with a minor in psychology. “It kind of just came to me,” she says.
On campus, Natalie is known for her smiles as well as her songs. “Life isn’t always all smiles, but you could put a smile on,” Natalie says. She acknowledges she’s not happy all the time, but believes that people should smile just because of the simple fact that they are alive.
Born Dec. 4, 1990 in Summerville, S.C., where her mom, dad and younger sister still live, Natalie’s name was derived from her father and mother’s combination. “One day in December my dad walked outside and saw a small rose and told my mom if we have a girl her name will be Natalie Rose,” she says.
She chose Queens because as soon as she set foot on campus she felt a sense of community. When asked what she likes most about Queens, Natalie answers, “The people, the atmosphere, and the one-on-one connection.”
It didn’t take her long to find friends. Courtney Hunt, who met Natalie through a Facebook group created before they arrived on campus freshman year, describes her as “the most genuine person here.” Max Kaczynski met Natalie on the way to a soccer game her freshman year. “I saw her with her girlfriends standing at the clock tower and assumed she was an upperclassman,” Max recalls, so he and two friends asked them for a ride. “From that point on, (we) became best friends.”
Queens also attracted her younger brother, Nathan Spencer. “I LOVE having Nathan at school with me. He looks out for me and I look out for him,” Natalie says. She loves passing her brother throughout the day and doesn’t mind when things in their lives overlap. Both are Queens ambassadors. “I mention that my brother and I both go here all the time,” Natalie says.
To realize her dream to be a music therapist, Natalie pushes herself. She’s taking 20 hours this semester. “I’ve never taken less than 18 credit hours.”
Her roommate and suite mates are reminded nightly of Natalie’s passion for music. She serenades them with children’s songs every night.