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Musician Spotlight: Jackie Walzer

Junior Jackie Walzer has a lot on her plate with academics, musical rehearsals, and sports, but through all of the things on her to-do list, music has always been an important element. She started the cello at age 3, and the piano at age 4, so it is hard for her to remember where her love of music began. The importance of music in her family was passed on to her, and though practice is challenging to keep up (with all of her other commitments), she always tries to find time to practice most nights (“honestly, sometimes it just doesn’t happen”) in addition to private lessons for each instrument (2 hours per week). She loves playing the music of Chopin and Mendelssohn on the cello, Haydn on the piano, and Rachmaninoff on both instruments. Jackie loves the feeling of both playing individually (especially “wowing her family with a great piece”) and playing with the orchestra at school. Her love of music extends beyond the two instruments she plays, as she also loves to sing, participate in the musicals, and play piano at music therapy (which she encourages everyone to come to).

As for her future, Jackie definitely wants to pursue her love of music in college and do college orchestra. When asked what particularly draws her to music, Jackie says that it is the combination of the feeling she gets playing it and other people’s reactions to her music. She mentions the feeling of “starting a piece at turtle speed” and then “months later, transforming it” as validating, as “however corny this may sound, it teaches me how to work hard, and that however daunting a task (or a piece) may seem, you can accomplish it.” Playing also enhances her appreciation of the music and the “geniuses who composed it. Jackie would love people to know that it is never too late to start a new instrument, as she picked up the ukulele a few months ago and has fun playing her favorite songs on it. Her advice is essentially to try a new instrument or enjoy some aspect of music in any way that you can, as it really brings to joy to both the musicians and the listeners.

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