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Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Murphy’s Magic

Norah Murphy channels emotions to create her own music
Norah+Murphy+%2810%29+plays+her+guitar+in+the+theater+Sept.+21.+Murphy+started+playing+guitar+and+writing+songs+in+fourth+grade.+%E2%80%9CI+started+because+I%E2%80%99ve+always+wanted+to+do+it+after+singing+songs.+It%E2%80%99s+just+been+better+now+because+I+think+I%E2%80%99m+getting+better+at+it%2C%E2%80%9D+Murphy+said.
Norah Murphy (10) plays her guitar in the theater Sept. 21. Murphy started playing guitar and writing songs in fourth grade. “I started because I’ve always wanted to do it after singing songs. It’s just been better now because I think I’m getting better at it,” Murphy said.

For some expressing strong emotions means crying or venting. For sophomore and songwriter Norah Murphy, it means spilling her thoughts into a notebook. Eventually, her pages are full of passionate ideas that will later turn into songs.

“I will write a whole page of any thought that comes to mind, and then I’ll pick and choose things to put in lyrics,” Murphy said. “I’ll usually add some chords to it, and then I’ll come up with the melody.”

When Murphy was  younger, she would write songs about personal experiences, such as her friendships.

“The first song that I wrote, I wrote with one of my best friends,” Murphy said. “It was called ‘Best Friends’ and we paraded it around my church.”

While Murphy discovered her love for songwriting at a young age, she did not have the drive to add meaning into her songs.

“Back when I was younger, I didn’t have as many problems to write songs about, so I struggled with finding a topic that I felt passionate about,” Murphy said. “Sometimes my songs didn’t feel very real.”

Songwriting is not the only thing that Murphy started when she was little. She also found ambition in playing the guitar. Six years ago, she was gifted her first guitar from her grandma as a Christmas present.

“After watching me play field hockey, she looked over to my mom then said, ‘Liz, I don’t really think this is Norah’s thing. We should get her a guitar for Christmas,’” Murphy said.

Her style of music pulls from many sources of inspiration. From the technique she learns in music theory class to the music she listens to in her free time, inspiration is a crucial part of Murphy’s craft.

 “I really love, obviously, Taylor Swift,”  Murphy said. “Also Lana Del Rey is one of my favorites. Her songs are almost cinematic.” 

Murphy has begun sharing her work on social media. For Murphy, feedback from others is the most rewarding part of the process.

“I can remember when I posted [my] first song on Instagram, the comments were flooded,” Murphy said. “It actually got over 1,000 views on Instagram.”

Murphy now wants to focus on recording her songs and releasing them. She currently has five songs and hopes to record them.

“Nowadays, there [are] tons of different recordings you can do, and you can do it all by yourself just on a website,” Murphy said. 

Songwriting helps her express herself in a way she can’t in words.

“On every device, I have notes that are filled with different ideas,” Murphy said. “It just feels good to find a way to say something.”

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About the Contributor
Sophomore Marie Demkovitch is a staff writer on Panorma. This is her first year on staff. Marie enjoys playing tennis and trying new cooking recipes.

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