Written by Jenna Needham
Over the summer, a recent Insight School of Washington (ISWA) graduate performed at the Watershed Music and Camping Festival along with numerous country headliners, including Eric Church, Keith Urban, Brett Eldredge, and Jason Aldean. Bailey Bryan wanted to be a singer for as long as she can remember, but a dream this big always comes with a few sacrifices. One thing she didn’t have to sacrifice, however, was her education.
“I chose ISWA because it was important to me to get an education while pursuing a career in music,” Bailey said. “This last year, I knew that my schedule as a singer/songwriter would be pretty hectic. ISWA allowed me to finish high school without having to compromise when it comes to my education or any musical opportunities.”
Bailey always knew that she wanted to perform, but she started off the same as any regular child. She sang at her church and performed in talent shows when she went to brick and mortar school at a young age. When she turned 13, she got her first guitar and began writing songs. Her musical talent became too big for her small hometown of Sequim, Washington.
“Growing up in such a small town, I didn’t have a ton of performing opportunities, so I would take my guitar and play my songs on the sidewalks of my hometown,” she said.
People began to notice Bailey, which led to her signing a publishing deal with a company in Nashville, Tennessee when she was just 15. She traveled to Nashville frequently to write songs with other known writers and build her portfolio as an artist. Music hadn’t interfered with school too much to this point, but when she decided to get more serious about her music career during her senior year, she realized that she needed a lot more flexibility in her schedule. ISWA was a perfect fit.
“It was an adjustment after going to public school all my life, but I enjoyed the opportunity to be independent and work at my own pace within certain guidelines,” Bailey said. “I couldn’t have attended ‘regular’ high school and still been able to do all the things I’ve been able to do musically this past year.”
The change in schools paid off big time. Now Bailey lives in Nashville, has a record deal, released her first single, and is playing in shows with the country stars that she grew up listening to!
“My plan is to continue to work hard and be grateful for whatever comes my way because none of this is promised,” she said. “I am so thankful that I was able to follow my passion as a teenager and still get my diploma. This was because of ISWA. I hope I can inspire other kids who have the opportunity of education to appreciate it and know that it’s possible, although not always easy, to succeed in school while fully following your dreams. We can truly accomplish anything if we put our minds to it.”
To listen to Bailey’s music or follow her on her journey, check out her YouTube channel.