Count, Sing, Lift, Repeat

PROVO, Utah – Jul 09, 2019 – BYU Marriott School of Accountancy alumna Jennifer Notley packs school lunches, washes never-ending piles of dirty clothes, drives children to soccer practice, and ensures that the needs of her family of five are taken care of. At first glance, Notley doesn’t seem much different from many other mothers. But what you don’t know is that she’s also a singer and songwriter, vocal coach, fitness instructor, and CPA—all at the same time. 

Ever since Notley was a child, she’s led a busy life. She took piano, voice, violin, and dance lessons. She was a part of a performing group organized by her mother. As if that wasn’t enough, she also did cheerleading and performed in theater throughout high school. “I felt like I was raised to always be involved in something, and I embraced that lifestyle,” she says. “Of course, I was expected to do well in school too.”

Notley originally thought she'd go into broadcasting or advertising when she began her studies at BYU in 1991. Then, at her roommate’s suggestion, Notley took an accounting class. “My communication classes were fun,” she recalls, “but I realized that numbers made sense to me. I knew I could do accounting for a career.” Notley was hooked.

When she applied for an undergrad in the accounting program, Notley decided to complete a five-year master’s degree in accounting as well. “I didn’t want to miss out on anything the School of Accountancy had to offer,” she recalls. Upon graduating from BYU Marriott in 1998, Notley put her degree to use right away. She got a job at KPMG and, just four years later, began working for a regional firm in the bay area. She met her future husband Charles Notley in Palo Alto, California, and they married in 2002.

Notley was thriving in her profession, but she knew she could do more. Her experience in music led her to open her own studio and begin teaching voice lessons, which she continues doing today. “Helping people find their voice is exciting for me," she shares. Notley occasionally performs and writes music as well, with her most recent song being taught to and sung by the students at a local middle school in Roseville, California, where she now resides.

Shortly after opening her studio, Notley decided to pursue another dream—becoming a fitness instructor. “Ever since high school, I took classes at the gym and loved it,” she reflects. “I always thought teaching at the gym would be fun, so when a couple of people encouraged me to try it, I did.” Notley became certified and began coaching kickbox classes in the evenings after work, even through her first pregnancy. She has been an instructor for fifteen years now and has also taught aqua, cardio dance, strength training, PiYo LIVE, and RIPPED. “I enjoy working at the gym where I can talk to people,” she says. “Interacting with and helping my clients is extremely rewarding for me.”

Though Notley remains involved in her various professions, she has scaled back on the amount of time she devotes to them in order to provide for the needs of her family. “Being a mother is not always easy, but it's the most important calling in my life,” she says.

For Notley, one of her greatest challenges as a mother is overcoming moments of self-doubt. “Other jobs, like accounting, are easy to get right,” she says. “But there’s no right way to be a mom.” Notley's three children are thirteen, eleven, and nine years old. Just like their mother, they are extremely involved individuals. "But we almost always have family dinner together,” Notley says.

Pursuing many dreams requires two things, says Notley: a plan and flexibility. “I need to know what my week looks like ahead of time, but I also have to be flexible because things come up,” she explains. “Sometimes things like the laundry not getting put away have to be sacrificed.” 

As her children get older, Notley plans to become more involved in the accounting field. Currently, she works as an independent CPA. She would also like to continue writing songs for children. “I have some long-term plans, but I’m open to new possibilities,” she says. “Each phase of life brings new opportunities and challenges, and I’m excited for whatever comes my way.”

Jennifer Notley
BYU Marriott School of Accountancy alumna Jennifer Notley. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Notley.
Notley family
Jennifer Notley with her husband and three children. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Notley.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Erika Magaoay