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MOV’s Got Talent: Payton Woodard

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 2:07 PM EST
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WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. (WTAP) -

Payton Woodard is a sophomore at Williamstown High School, who has been playing the violin since she was in second grade.

She loves to play in any free time she gets, but she says it can be a challenge to push herself to get better because of the strict practice habits she puts on herself.

“I’m a perfectionist,” Payton says. “I like to get it first try. It really just took the time to, like, practice and keep going with it, even whenever I got frustrated just to push through the aggravation of not being able to play it perfectly the first time.”

The COVID-19 pandemic gave Payton the opportunity to play more music at home. She says playing the violin puts her in a better mental state.

“Playing the violin is definitely my escape,” said Payton. “If I’m feeling stressed, I just pick up my violin and start playing. Whether it be a slow song, or a fast song. If I want to just have fun with it and play, I just pick up my violin all the time.”

Payton was recently selected for West Virginia All-State Orchestra, and she considered it a great honor.

The audition process was nerve-wracking for her, because she gets nervous when playing in front of people. But compliments from her peers, and recognition like All-State drives her to continue to improve.

“I don’t usually play in front of people often,” Payton said. “I get nervous and everything, but whenever people compliment me, it makes me feel great, and it just pushes me to feel more confident in my playing.”

Payton believes she could have a career future in violin, but she says that teaching younger people would be the most enjoyable career choice for her.

“I’d love to teach violin, and teach students how to play,” said Payton. “It’d be a lot of fun to do that.”

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