A new way to read music

Activity: Freshman Jamison Christopher plays the flute with the freshman band and composes his own music at home.

Sari Hattis

What is your favorite part about playing the flute?
I like to create my own music. (It is) exciting and hard when I learn a new piece, but it is fun.

How do you learn a new piece of music?
I get help from a para(professional) named Daniel, but I mostly listen to a CD that Mr. Schmitz makes for me. I listen to the notes.

How do Steven Schmitz’s recordings help you play?
It helps me to know where to play, how to play it and the style I need to play it in. He instructs me through a CD so he does not have to stay after school and help me.

How long does it take for you to learn a piece of music?
It depends on how much I am into (the piece). If I am really into it, it takes me about two days to memorize it, but if I am not really interested in it, it takes me a week to two weeks, at least.

What is your favorite style of music to play?
Native Chinese and sometimes African music. I came from China, so I mostly write those kinds of songs and mostly play that style of music. The way that they write it and play it is interesting.

What inspires you to write music?
(I write music) when I am bored. I write music to the style that I write my poems in, more of a quiet style. I just write it for myself.

What are some obstacles you face and how do you overcome them?
I cannot read music, so I replace that with listening to other people playing, like the other flute players around me and the CD that Mr. Schmitz makes.

What motivates you to continue to play flute?
I always have liked to play the flute. I started playing the bamboo flute in China, and I like the sound.

How has music helped you overcome obstacles?
It has helped me get over my blindness. It also helped me learn how to speak English by listening to music.

Have you ever learned another instrument besides flute?
I played the guitar for a while and I just picked up the saxophone, but the flute will always be my main instrument.

Are there other methods of learning music that you have used?
I had a private lesson teacher, but I stopped going to lessons after I got really good at playing the flute, and then I learned by listening.

Are you involved with flute outside of school?
I practice it a lot and I write my own music a lot, so I have to use the flute to make it and write it.

Do you plan to continue playing flute outside of high school?
It all depends on what I am going to do after high school.

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