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Hi, I'm Mar! I am a musician, artist, educator, and coach. 

My mission in life is to fill as much of my life with creativity as possible and empower others to do the same.

I chose "Music. Art. Release." as my web address for two reasons - one because it happens to spell MAR ;) and two, because it's sort of my thesis statement on life. Music and art are the ultimate release. They allow us to release whatever is inside of us and by doing so, we release ourselves from the power those things or emotions held over us.


I believe that everyone should have a creative outlet - a vehicle for release. And because creativity is so intricately woven into the fabric of our spirits, I've found that embracing it is the only way to find any semblance of spiritual peace in this world.

My Story

While I originally grew up in Wisconsin, I have identified as a Michigander since I moved to Grand Rapids in 2012 and never looked back. I feel immensely lucky to have accidentally landed in a city with such a rich and inclusive music and arts scene, especially because my journey has been anything but linear.

I've known since I was a toddler that music is my #1 calling in life, but I allowed myself to be ruled by self doubt for decades. After trying

a different path and dropping out of college halfway into my first semester, I knew I needed a fresh start, so at the ripe age of 18 I moved to the other side of Lake Michigan with no real plan. 

I finally had the wake up call my soul needed when I was watching the movie Pitch Perfect and suddenly couldn't help but sob uncontrollably - not because the plot was that intense, but because I couldn't watch other people live the life I knew I should be living. The next morning, I told my soul "okay find you win," and enrolled in the music program at Grand Rapid Community College. 

I will forever be grateful for the welcoming, supportive environment I found in the GRCC music department. I walked in there knowing very little music theory, with the voice of a high school choir girl who never got the solo, shaking like a leaf. And they took me as I was. I had no idea what I was getting myself into or what my ultimate goal was. I just knew I needed to study music if it was the last thing I did.

When my time at GRCC came to an end, I chose the path of least resistance and transferred to Grand Valley State University to finish my bachelors degree in music education. As much as Little Mar had always wanted to be a pop star, I was still letting fear make my decisions for me, and still deeply insecure about my abilities as a singer, a pianist, a songwriter, and a performer. Despite having a music degree, I couldn't even accept the title of "musician" because I was letting imposter syndrome rule my life.


So I began my career as an elementary music teacher at Grand Rapids Public Schools. Things didn't really change for me until I got out of a long-term relationship and started my life over again midway through my first year teaching. I finally gave myself the space to create, explore, and connect with like-minded folks who saw my potential and encouraged me to push myself.

It was then that I finally started writing my own music for the first time since childhood, learning how to play piano and sing at the same time (which I genuinely used to think was something people were born with!), and finding my voice outside of the classical/choir world. It was a really gradual journey and one I could never have done without the support of some wonderful friends.

During that period of time, I wrote my first album, Jesus Issues. It took me about three years from start to finish, and I even lost all my computer files and had to start over midway through! But I was hellbent on getting my music out into the world so other people could finally see me the way I'd always wanted to see myself - as a musician. A REAL one. And a GOOD one. I genuinely remember having nightmares about what would happen if I unexpectedly died in a car crash and never finished the album. It was eating me alive inside and it took everything in me to get to the finish line.

But I did it. My motto at the time was "By myself. For myself. Against myself." I had a lot of inner demons to conquer, as well as newly diagnosed ADHD, and all of those things put up one hell of a fight. To this day, making that album is my proudest accomplishment. I still didn't have the confidence to walk into a studio and ask people to collaborate with me, so I did nearly everything myself - writing, arranging/producing, recording, editing. I can't believe I got so lucky that the universe not only dropped my soulmate into my lap during this time - but as an added bonus, he's also a master at mixing and mastering! I never could have done it without him.

In the time since then, I've conquered fear after fear and pushed myself to grow in ways I never thought possible. And while it hasn't been easy, it's been the most rewarding journey I could possibly ask for.  I'm finally going after the dreams I've held close since childhood, and nothing could possibly feel more right.

In addition to my work as a solo artist, I've also been lucky enough to perform with my husband, Aaron, and explore the totally new-to-me world of EDM with our collaborative EP, Darkness in Me, that just dropped in December 2023. It's so rewarding to have a completely different bucket to write songs in and be able to connect with a totally different community. Indie rock will always have my heart, but I am also a proud rave wife and have grown to really feel at home in the EDM scene.

Currently I'm in a period of transition as I recently said goodbye to my full-time job as a public school music teacher. I am gearing up to record my second album, Violets Bloom, in the coming months and I cannot WAIT to share it with you! As proud as I am of Jesus Issues, this one is really special to me and contains several of my favorite songs I've ever written. Stay tuned!


For booking, collaborations, or other inquiries:

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