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18-year-old music prodigy earns master's degree at Indiana University

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Posted at 7:58 AM, May 05, 2024

An 18-year-old music prodigy is making history this year.

Tiara Abraham earned her master’s degree from Indiana University on Friday. The accomplishment makes her the youngest to do so in 2024 across all IU campuses statewide, and up next is her doctorate.

"Today has been a whirlwind of emotion. It's been full of joy,” said Abraham.

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Tiara Abraham Graduation

The teen graduated from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music with a master's degree in music of voice. She accomplished it all before even getting her driver's license.

"A lot of hard work and perseverance as with many other graduates. That's how we ended up here graduating, and I just feel very proud of myself,” she said.

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Tiara Abraham

The California teen moved across the country with her mom at just 16 to begin the IU master’s program in music, one of the top schools in the world.

"I started college, community college, at 7 years old, so I've definitely gotten used to being the youngest in the classroom,” she said.

Now, she's the youngest person to earn the degree across all IU campuses in 2024, and she did it with a 4.0 GPA throughout her academic career.

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Tiara Abraham Graduation

"We're extremely proud of her. At such a young age finishing a master’s; that's amazing. This is her time,” said her dad, Bijou Abraham.

“It's just that looking back over the last two years, the challenges she had and how she persevered it. She's brave and she's worked hard,” added her mom Dr. Taji Abraham. “Now it’s time for her to celebrate and we’re just happy to see that success."

Tiara Abraham became a Mensa member at age 4, began college courses at age 7, and celebrated her Sweet 16 with an undergraduate degree from UC Davis in California.

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Tiara Abraham

It's the same school where her older brother Tanishq earned his doctorate at age 19.

For Abraham, it’s not just about hitting the textbooks. The prodigy also has a passion for music. She began classical voice training at just 7 years old.

"Ever since then, I've just been performing around the world. I’ve performed at Carnegie Hall, and internationally in Italy and the Vatican. It's been such a joy to be able perform because it's something I truly enjoy,” said Abraham.

Although the teen is used to being the youngest in the room, it isn’t always easy doing so when it comes to classical music.

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Tiara Abraham

“A lot of the times, some people will kind of dismiss me because they say I’m too young,” she said.

The teen hasn’t let that discourage her from pushing to learn more throughout the years.

"She wants to learn. She wants to grow. She wants to be right, we have at least four or five languages. We have to be able to sing in like French, Italian, German, English and sometimes Spanish,” explained Patricia Stiles, an IU professor of music (Voice) who’s worked with Abraham for the last two years.

“She just wants it to be good; she wants to do the best she can,” she added.

Now, the teen has her sights set high for an even brighter future.

"I'm going to stay here at Indiana University for my doctorate."

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Tiara Abraham Graduation

After that, the teen wants to continue breaking down barriers on the big stage.

"My dream job is to perform around the world in established opera houses and just make people happy with my voice,” she said.

“I truly believe in the power of music, and I’m blessed with a beautiful voice, and I just want to make use of that," she said.

Abraham has been invited to sing at several commencement ceremonies at many renowned places over the years. She will sing the national anthem at IU's undergrad ceremony on Saturday.

This article was originally published by Naja Woods for Scripps News Indianapolis.