Ms. Talented

Intelligent isn't strong enough to describe Aliyah Qualls. She's been on Arizona State University's dean's list since her freshman year.

She's studying music education and minoring in criminology and criminal justice.

Aliyah just finished her sophomore year and she did it while being a part of three bands: the wind ensemble, the basketball band and the marching band.

Aliyah plays five instruments: trumpet, trombone, piano, drums, and her main instrument: the french horn.

"It's the most challenging," said Aliyah. "And I really like a challenge."

It doesn't take much for Aliyah to learn something new, but the french horn made her work for it. It didn't come easy, but now she can play whatever. 

She's been playing the french horn for eight years and now she wants to teach music. Her favorite teachers were always her music instructors. Aliyah wants to inspire students like her music teachers inspired her.

Teaching late elementary or early middle school music students is what Aliyah's aiming for. During this time, the students know the basics and they're easier to control. 

Aliyah wants to start teaching right away after graduation and eventually go to grad school. She's thinking California because they're a major part of the music industry and that's what Aliyah wants to be a part of. She's not sure what she'd be doing in the industry, but she'll figure it out, like she does everything else.

She could see herself being in Beyonce's all female band...maybe one day. But if Aliyah wants it then she's more than likely going to get it.

Music is in her blood. When Aliyah was younger, she would go with her mom as she played in churches, which is why the piano was the first instrument she learned how to play. Aliyah's father plays the bass guitar, so there was no escaping music.

She learned how to read music at a very young age. Music is more than just music to Aliyah, it's a lifestyle.

Aliyah likes the Arizona life because "it's not as cold as Wisconsin." While in Milwaukee, Aliyah was about a part of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. She traveled to Europe to perform with them. She may enjoy Arizona, but it does get difficult being away from her family and friends, but its pushed her to become more independent.

Even though she has an older brother who experienced college before she did, Aliyah didn't know much about the college life. She had no expectations. Aliyah had that "whatever happens, happens," mindset and it's been working in her favor. 

Aliyah is a part of the Kappa Kappa Psi community which is a national honorary band fraternity. Their mission is to make the music department run as smoothly as it can. It's been almost three years since she's been in the fraternity, and even though it can be difficult being apart of so much, Aliyah excels no matter what.

She writes everything down. With her three calendars, her phone, and her brain, she never forgets a thing. Aliyah's so busy, she has to write down when to eat and when to take a nap.

"You have to balance all of that stuff," said Aliyah. "Sometimes it gets hard."

Since her major is also her hobby, all of her work ties into each other. 

Before dreams of being a teacher, Aliyah wanted to be an actress. She soon realized she didn't put herself out there enough to be in the movie industry, but her music might get her there. 

Aliyah's traveled to Austria and Hungary, but that wasn't enough for her. If she had the money she would study abroad. 

Aliyah knew she wanted to be a teacher for years, but not necessarily a music teacher. After growing more in love with music, it's only right that she teaches it. 

This is just the begjnning for Aliyah. She's not exactly sure where she'll end up, but she'll be working hard all the way there.