"What sets [Casey] apart is her ability to connect with students on a personal level through her narratives surrounding her songwriting. Students were singing her songs in the hallways for weeks, we have seen quite a few students with boosted self-confidence, and our artistic-focused students have a new role model. Thank you! Best assembly of the year!”
- Adele Horwitz, Guidance Counselor, British International School, Boston MA
Singer-songwriter Casey McQuillen isn’t your typical teen pop star telling a sweet story about her love songs. Casey is a young woman with a message: you are not alone. She speaks about her experience with bullying. She speaks about her struggles with anxiety. She speaks about her desire to fit in. She’s sincere, and each time she completes a performance, she’s changed lives by building confidence in students.
As a way to fulfill a 7th grade school assignment, Casey’s musical journey began by teaching herself to play guitar and writing her first song. This initial achievement sparked what would become a wildfire growth of her music career, where she composed songs almost daily and posted live performance videos of herself, amassing over 1 million YouTube views, all while in high school. She also self-produced, arranged, wrote and performed her first two albums before going on to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. McQuillen then jumped into the national spotlight when she competed and earned a spot on American Idol’s Season 13. During her time at Berklee, she created an anti-bullying assembly series called The “You Matter” Tour and has performed the show in over 100 middle and high schools throughout New England.
During the concerts, using her original songs and life stories, McQuillen teaches young students about bullying, building self-confidence, and the benefit of taking risks and pursuing your dreams.
Today, Casey McQuillen emerges as a stronger young woman with a decade of music industry cred behind her. Most recently, Casey was recognized by the UN Foundation for her accomplishments. Her new music video for her original song "Beautiful", is set to release in March 2019.
1st Place, Mid-Atlantic Song Contest 2016, Pop Category for song “Beautiful”
Season 13 American Idol
Berklee College of Music ‘16 Summa Cum Laude
Phillips Academy Andover ‘11
Improper Bostonian’s “25x25”
UN Foundation’s “Girl UP – Fab Female Friday”
For more information visit: https://www.listentocasey.com/
"Every middle schooler experiences some level of self-doubt, and many unfortunately also face some form of bullying– but singer, songwriter Casey McQuillen is working to retake that narrative. Casey travels around the country, bringing The “You Matter” Tour, an anti-bullying and songwriting program for adolescents, to middle schools across the nation."
The “You Matter” Tour is an hour-long interactive concert of my songs and stories. Throughout the program, I use my original music and my journey on American Idol as metaphors to speak with the students about bullying, self-confidence, and the benefits of taking risks. I show the students how I grew from an insecure, 13 year-old girl to a 26 year-old aspiring pop star who isn’t afraid to dream. We learn that real life is not airbrushed, but that it is the bumps in the road that make us unique. We learn the most important message of them all: You Matter
In a world full of retouched photos and social media obsession, today’s teenagers compare themselves not only to each other but also to the most privileged celebrities in the entertainment industry.
Students need a role model that is honest, empathetic and relatable. I hope to fill that void through my anti-bullying programs.
Since I was 13, I’ve had braces, glasses, and bad haircuts; I’ve fallen in and out of love with boys and in and out of love with myself. Along the way, my songs captured my journey of growing up, and growing to accept myself for being imperfect. The original songs from The "You Matter" Tour are the story of my life in middle and high school.
My appearance on Season 13 of American Idol has opened many doors for this program, and I have visited over one hundred middle and high schools and performed for over 25,000 students in the last two years. The "You Matter" Tour was also awarded the 2015 Berklee Urban Service Award. I would love to share this message with your students and do my part in preventing bullying in schools.