Belmont Volleyball Spotlight Feature-Lexi Adams
The Music of Your Life
For many on the volleyball team, Belmont was a destination first and foremost because of the volleyball program. For Lexi Adams, a redshirt sophomore from Plainwell, Mich., however, Belmont was a destination for a different reason. With its reputation as a "music school" and it's location in Music City, Belmont was an ideal fit for a student hoping to find her way into the music business. For Adams, being a part of the Belmont volleyball team was a second thought as she chose her school based on the career she hopes someday to pursue.
"I chose it actually because I do music," Adams said. "Its being in Nashville was kind of a perfect opportunity for me from the music aspect, and I heard they had a great volleyball program, so I joined the team."
Adams is a music business major with an emphasis in songwriting. While the major hasn't been exactly what she expected (there's more to it than simply writing a song), Adams has learned a lot about the music business while balancing her busy class schedule with her volleyball commitments.
"I'm a songwriting major and basically what that entails is that I'm required to take a lot more of the music business stuff than I thought I was going to," she admits. "Right now I'm taking my Songwriting II class, and it's a lot of projects. Our projects are usually impromptu. We'll get to class, and we'll have to write a song about a topic that he'll give us that morning. It's a lot on the spot and you'll have to reach into your creativity on the spot or he'll ask you 'What do you think of when you hear this word? What do you see?' and we'll have to write it out. I really like it, though."
Taking the music business aspect of her major into account has helped Adams better understand what she'll need to be successful after she graduates.
"My favorite class since I've been at Belmont was my publishing class," Adams said. "I loved my professor and I learned so much. I learned more from that class about the music industry than any other music business class I've taken. My professor worked for a performing rights organization as the vice president. He knew his stuff, but he didn't speak like a textbook. He put it in real-life terms that we were going to need to use. He put us in groups like we were our own publishing group and we had to go out and perform our music and promote our music. I had to make a Facebook page and a MySpace page for my music. It really helped me."
All of that preparation should help Adams find her dream job, which of course involves sharing her music with others.
"I want to travel and I want to do music," she said. "Whatever that entails, that's what I would like to do. Travel, play music, and I would like to do some missionary work."
The inclusion of missionary work in her future plans isn't too surprising considering that Adams draws heavily from her faith for inspiration in the music she writes.
"For me, I think my faith is something I value and something I really get a lot of inspiration from," she said. "Then of course there's music (from other people)."
While volleyball may not have been her top priority in choosing a school, Adams always believed that her skill on the volleyball court might be her ticket to getting into the school of her choice.
"I've been playing volleyball since I was in sixth grade," Adams said. "I've been playing club volleyball since I was 12. I hoped that by doing that and playing club all those years it would get me into school, that I'd be able to go to college and play. It just happened that it worked out that Belmont had a great volleyball team. I loved the coaching staff and the girls. It was a good fit."
As a reserve for the Belmont team, Adams playing time isn't always consistent. The role she believes she fills on the team, however, is consistent and critical.
"I'm an encourager," she said. "Sometimes it's hard when you're not starting to get going, and I really want to just have the go-getting factor. Even though the side I'm on (in practice) isn't the starting side, I want to get after it. I try to push people in practice."
Adams has always been close to her family, especially her three sisters, and being far from home hasn't always been easy. However, overcoming homesickness and adjusting to life as a collegiate athlete haven't been the hardest challenges Adams has overcome during her time at Belmont. With the rigorous academic standards at the school and a slight learning disadvantage caused by hearing loss, it's the challenges faced in the classroom that have been the toughest obstacles.
"Honestly, I would have to say academics (have been the biggest challenge)," Adams said. "I actually have a hearing disability and hearing loss. I actually wear hearing aids. I don't think people realize how significant my hearing loss is. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best, my hearing is about a six. I have to process things a lot slower. I take twice as long usually. When people talk, if I can't quite hear what they're saying, I have to piece it together. I think, 'okay I think they might have said this because before they said this.' It takes a lot longer to process sometimes. Academically, if it's not a songwriting class, I struggle. Test-taking is very hard for me. I'm always the last one done."
Her laid back personality may be deceiving, but Adams' ability to focus and pursue her goals when the going gets tough will help her continue to battle Belmont's demanding courses. The key, Adams has found, is not to be defined by her learning disadvantage. Instead, Adams is defined by her faith and by the joy she finds in being a part of that faith.
"If someone would ask me what I did over the weekend, I would say I went to church and that it was my favorite thing," she said. "That's not surprising for me because I do love church and that community. My faith is very important to me."
The college experience has been an educational one for Adams so far, not only in the classroom and on the court, but also in the lessons learned outside of the typical college setting, the lessons that come with growing up.
"I think just being away from home and not depending on my parents and gaining that independence (is something I'll remember). I think that's been really good for me. Having to be responsible for myself and learning the things that I have to do to help myself because my mom's not there to do it anymore. That's probably definitely one thing that I've learned. Volleyball is a full-time job, and we have to prioritize our time and learn time management. Those are the lessons I've learned since I've been here."