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School of Music

Music Grad Ellie Warner Niver on How the Lord Teaches in Melodious Ways

Graduate Student Ellie Warner Niver Answers Questions about Her Time at BYU

Photo by Emma Olson, CFAC External Relations

Q: How have you found belonging at BYU?

Niver: I found belonging while attending devotionals. I also feel a sense of belonging after four years of focusing on Jesus Christ in my education. Everybody belongs with Him because everyone has a place in His heart. Students and faculty at the university have also been super welcoming.

Q: How has BYU prepared you for the future?

Niver: My education has given me a lot of opportunities to perform and teach, which I’m really passionate about. The professors each have their own specialty, and it’s been really great to work and collaborate with all of them. I never felt pigeon-holed; I felt like I could explore everything.

I’ve also loved my general education experience. I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing in the future, but as far as raising kids, it’s really nice to have knowledge of other areas besides the one I majored in. I feel like that helped to open my perspective.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

Niver: My husband and I are moving to the Kaysville area. My husband got a job there, and I plan to keep growing my private voice studio. We were there last summer, so I have potential students there who took lessons from me last summer. I also have an Etsy shop; I really like making wood engravings with my husband. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like, but I’m not going to stop singing and performing—that’s what I keep telling people.

Q: Is there a particular professor who inspired you?

Niver: My voice teacher, Mindy Ammons. She believed in me from the start and pushed me to become my best. It’s not like she only cares about me when I’m doing well, and that has meant a lot to me.

I always say I have two voice teachers, the Lord and Mindy. So, I guess those are the two favorite professors I’ve had.

Q: What piece of advice would you give current students?

Niver: The biggest asset we have is the Lord and the Spirit. I feel like He knows what we need to learn. He uses our amazing professors to teach us, but He also knows how we need to learn and He can guide us in those ways through BYU. Just don’t forget that God is part of your education.

Q: What was your most memorable experience in the school of music? What ensembles were you in?

Niver: I was in BYU Singers for one year, and I’ve been in a lot of operas at BYU. I got to sing a really fun role in “Cosí fan tutte.” It was a comedy and the music was gorgeous.