Double Major Student Excels in the Music & Psychology Programs

By Ally Romanes on June 13, 2024

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When Kyra Grant was in high school, she traveled to Pacific Union College for a basketball tournament and felt a connection. Knowing she wanted to attend a smaller college in California, Grant decided to pursue her undergraduate education at PUC. 

Grant is a double-major sophomore who first started as a biology pre-med major and realized after two quarters that this was not her calling. With an aptitude for psychology and an understanding of how and why people work, Grant decided to major in psychology.

Additionally, she’s loved listening to or playing music since she was little. With this passion, Grant felt called to pursue the joy music brings her instead of devoting time to a major she didn't feel was her own.

PUC Professor of Music Ronnie Zanella said that Grant was born with perfect pitch, a brilliant musical mind, and a natural talent. Zanella enjoyed teaching Grant Music Theory, generally the most feared class in any music department. But for Grant, there was nothing to fear, as she easily completed the class with straight A’s.

“She is the type of student who always seems eager to tackle new concepts, showing interest and asking questions when she is still grasping a new idea presented in class,” shared Zanella. “I have been so impressed with her progress and achievements in that class that I recently invited her to be a student tutor next year for incoming students taking the same class.”

Grant is highly engaged with anything put on by the music department and pushes herself to the best of her abilities, impressing everyone around her. The latest musical challenge she undertook was voice lessons, which grew her interest in singing and led her to be involved with PUC’s music club’s production of Shrek the Musical.

In February, Grant participated in PUC on Broadway, thanking that musical for bringing her out of her comfort zone since she hadn’t sung for long. With only singing in academy choirs and music ministries, the Broadway show inspired her to switch her major from piano to voice.

She’s had more experience with piano, having played on and off since she was six years old and spent many of those years teaching herself. During her transition from high school to college, she contacted PUC Music Professor Dr. Rachelle Davis to see if she could learn double bass during college—Dr. Davis said yes. During her freshman year, Grant devoted hours learning the double bass. Other instruments she taught herself were the electric bass and a bit of the drums.

Grant could talk for hours about how amazing she finds the music department. “Each and every professor has been nothing but supportive and kind in each student’s journey,” she said. “I have loved every second I’ve spent getting to know the professors. Each of them has their own unique, quirky personalities that make the learning experience much more enjoyable.”

The psychology program is also like this in its own way, with each professor having their personality. It makes her smile to see their connection and closeness through collaboration and coworking.

PUC Psychology Professor Libna Arroyo has enjoyed having Grant as a student. One of her favorite memories with Grant happened in her adolescent psychology class, where students were required to volunteer and work with teenagers for 8-10 hours.

“Kyra chose to work with the pre-teens sabbath school at the PUC church where I teach,” shared Arroyo. “I immediately saw her talent, and I could see she is very gifted at working with this population. I am very excited about her future goals in the area of psychology.”

Being a double major is a lot to juggle, and it took Grant five quarters to figure out how to balance school and her personal life. She used to lock herself in her room and not go out unless she needed food or practice hours at Paulin Hall. It wasn’t until this past winter quarter that she started making great friends and connections, realizing she had to balance class and social life. To avoid burnout, she learned to allocate time and plan her days better.

One of the things she’s learned to help her excel in her programs is by speaking up and asking for help or extensions on assignments. She truly appreciates how understanding her professors are in making arrangements for her.

Studying at PUC has been beneficial to her education and future. Some of her favorite classes haven’t been directly linked to her psychology major. For example, taking communication courses taught her about the subject and its applicability to life. Her classes provided critical thinking and offered various perspectives on life through the teaching styles of her professors.

“The lessons I’ve learned are something I will take with me through life because they have truly motivated me to get through college so far,” said Grant. “The community here is always so willing to help and lend a hand whenever someone needs it, and I just am proud to be a part of a community that embodies Jesus’ teachings.”