Freshman Delaney Watts not only sings, plays the guitar and writes her own songs, but each day she begins her second period English class by pulling out her guitar from its case and performing an original song.
Earlier this year, Watts was playing her guitar at lunch and eventually played a song for Hans Schmidt, her English I teacher. While at first skeptical, once Schmidt heard her song “It’s Not Me, It’s You,” he was pleasantly surprised by her talent and decided that she should share a song each day with the class, and so far she has not disappointed.
At the age of 10, Watts picked up her father’s guitar and began to play. She was a part of a girl band for a time and in that period was able to gain some experience performing.
“I’ve been [performing] for so long, it’s become who I am and a part of my life,” Watts says.
After hearing her songs, Schmidt thinks that Watts has a level of depth not often seen in a 14-year-old. Her humor and sarcasm is apparent in her work, most notably in her song “Embrace the ADD.”
The songwriter’s class seems to be enjoying the musical interlude, and some, like junior teacher’s aide Christine Prochaska, believe Watts is truly talented.
“I think it’s a great way of starting of each day,” classmate Ezra Delbick says.
Watts considers her style more country than anything else, which is probably due to her Texas roots and some of her female influences, such as Miranda Lambert. The writer is similar to other artists, as she only sings about subjects that are affecting her life at the time, so they tend to be “brutally honest.”
Watts is not the first student to display her talent at Carmel High, though. 1997 graduate Rushad Eggleston would often play his music during lunch. Schmidt has even had other students who have performed for his class, like Seth Williams, Class of 2010, who played his handmade ukulele during a presentation.
Currently, Watts is an active member of the National Songwriters Association and is planning on participating in the Singer-Songwriters’ Guild at CHS.
“I know whatever I do with my life is going to involve music,” Watts remarks. “Even if I’m not singing to thousands of people, and I’m singing in coffee shops, I just want to keep doing this.”