Member Highlight: Jennifer Yoo

Here is one of our many members who have brought life to our community. We are grateful to see the process and progress our members share with us, and we are honored to give them the spotlight! Their story is our story. Read on to be inspired by our latest Member Highlight interview…

Meet Jennifer Yoo

Jennifer is from Calistoga, CA, USA

What do you do during the day?

I was working at the local coffee shop before the pandemic hit then decided to take a couple of classes through Berklee online while I waited for the world to open up again but I totally fell in love wiht the program and decided to pursue the songwriting certificate which I finished about a month and a half ago.


I live in a women's monastery, not as a nun (yet?) but I live with a bunch of them. We have three or four services a day which I help sing in. You can usually find me in the garden in the morning, especially in the spring and summer. (This was my newly founded Covid activity). I help with the cooking on Wednesdays. (It's Korean lunch day most Wednesdays) 😉 Otherwise, I'm scheduling in co-writes and my own writing sessions trying to stay in shape with daily writing activities.

What Day of 100 is your piece from?

38/100.  I presented this at the last critique but haven't been able to figure out how to apply Shane's awesome feedback yet.


Must Be Allergic by Jennifer Yoo

There’s something in the air; I’m itchy everywhere
It’s all up in my hair; Must be allergic
I can’t open my eyes; My nose is super dry
I’m sneezing all the time; Must be allergic

Trees and flowers are the best collaborators; they show their colors…
with humble pride
Happy buzzing comes from the pollinators, reminding me to stay inside

I wanna go outside instead but Mother Nature trumps my Sudafed
I wanna go outside (Achoo)
Must be allergic (Achoo, achoo, achoo)
Must be allergic to you

There’s something in the walls; They’re crawlin’ down the halls
Too hard to find the cause; Must be allergic
There’s something on my clothes; My blankets and my throws
They’re from the friends I chose; Must be allergic

Open windows welcome in the perpetrators; burning tears fall from my eyes
Blissful purring is a certain activator; my body’s covered in raging hives

 I cannot stay inside, can’t win ‘cause Mother Nature trumps my Claritin
I cannot stay inside (Achoo)
Must be allergic (Achoo, achoo, achoo)
Must be allergic to you

Don’t fear that I’m contagious though my…
symptoms are outrageous
If I’m in or I’m out, doesn’t stop my running snout
from the sneezing and the wheezing; there seems to be no easing
What will set me free from this life of allergies

I wanna go outside but still Mother Nature trumps my Benadryl
I cannot stay inside (Achoo)
Must be allergic (Achoo, achoo, achoo)
Must be allergic to you

Listen here:

Click here to listen

Is there anything surprising about your musical taste?

I think the thing that most people find surprising about my music taste is that I don't know anyone. We weren't allowed to listen to music in our house so I have hardly any exposure especially to pop music. I know quite a bit about early choral music since I sang in many early choral music ensembles but I couldn't really name a Beatles tune for you and probably never even heard of your favorite artist. 🙂

What does your songwriting habit look like?

I started a YouTube channel in 2021 as a sort of accountability buddy for myself. I post two videos a month and started with a bunch of old songs that I had that I wanted to share. It also helped me clean up some old songs and/or finish them so I could post them on my channel. It's becoming a little more challenging now since I have to write new songs now to keep things going but I find it to be very helpful in keeping me on track of continuing to write songs and hone my craft.

Who are your influences? How have they shaped you?

I have been privileged to become close to a few teachers throughout my life that I found to be super inspiring which led me to believe that I wanted to be a teacher too but I've since realized that admiring someone doesn't necessarily mean that I should take on their profession as well.

What challenge are you facing with songwriting?

I'm pretty focused on just creating songs right now and creating a lot of them to grow my catalog but I have some challenges in terms of finding a singer for my more pop/rock kind of songs since my voice is not compatible with those genres and getting my songs sounding, I believe they call it, radio-ready. I am ready to get my songs out there but they are not of a high enough quality that a music supervisor would consider using them. (That's from the mouths of several music supervisors and sync agents.)

Tell us an early memory about a song that woke something up inside you.

It was pretty rare for my family to go to the movies but I remember that the first movie that we went to twice was The Lion King. I was utterly blown away with "The Circle of Life" and the opening montage of the movie; I just thought that it was the most vibrant and moving scene that I had ever seen.

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