Lenka Janischova Shockley

“I have Dr. Driscoll for my Music Theory class, and he is the most amazing teacher. As a musician, I love and appreciate his classes so much.”

What Lenka Janischova Shockley has learned about music theory at SMC has already borne some substantial fruit. “Dr. Driscoll has helped me so much to become a musician, which is who and what I am. I’ve learned all about harmonies and chord progressions, and it’s completely opened up my world. In fact,” she continues, “I just wrote and recorded my first song for a movie that’s coming out in France. The producer of the film booked me at the Sound Factory in Hollywood, and it was all an incredible experience.”

But Lenka’s musical success didn’t stop there. “I recently sang a solo with a 150-piece orchestra in the Torrance Auditorium, and it was incredible! And I’m also singing in a cover band with my mom and her boyfriend and a bunch of older men who’ve traveled the world playing music. I mean,” she continues, “these are real musicians who toured and opened for Black Sabbath. And I love performing—and learning from—a huge variety of people.”

Singing jazz, folk, country, and ’70s rock, Lenka has pretty much covered the musical waterfront. And now—at SMC—she’s encountered an entirely new love: the opera. “For the past few semesters, I’ve been studying and singing opera, and loving it. These are the first vocal classes that I’ve ever had, because I’ve just always been a singer. And this has really helped me to understand music as a science,” she says. “And though I was a longtime full-time, part-time student,” she continues with a laugh, “I’m now taking the issues of my training very seriously at SMC.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.​