Student musicians share what making music means to them

Whether it's a hobby or a future career goal, music brings these students joy

by Ashley Mochizuki, staff

by Jersey Patterson

A tap of the beat, a hum of the melody, a clap of the tempowe do it as we drive, walk, and study. We are musicians. And at Shorewood, some students know all about making music, whether it be classical or rap.

Sophomore Brook Roberts has been largely involved in the classical music scene. A member of Chamber Orchestra, Cascade Youth Symphony, All Northwest Orchestra last year, and the Flugel Quartet, he plays the viola in many performance groups.

Roberts started his musical career when he learned to play the violin at age 9. When he was 13, he started to play the viola, a slightly larger version of the violin that has a deeper sound.

Unlike many students who were forced to play musical instruments from a young age, Roberts enjoys practicing his instrument. “I do [like practicing]. Some of it can be challenging, but to me, that’s the funnest part about being a musician. Tackling the challenging things and growing from that,” he said.

But to Roberts, music isn’t just about challenging himself; it’s also about spending time with others.

Roberts plays as the violist in the Flugel Quartet, a Shorewood quartet. “[The Flugel Quartet] is a group composed of me, Luka Choi, Preston Yao, and Sofie Nyssen. We’re all sophomores here. We’ve been together since about eighth grade… We do gigs around town and we’ve performed at Shorewood, at other events such as fundraisers, and at the hospital,” he said. “It’s a great group and I hope we stay together until senior year.”

Small ensembles are Roberts’ favorite form of making music. “It’s intimate, but you’re also a soloist, so I like that combination aspect,” he said.

Roberts also enjoys the time he spends with friends in music classes at Shorewood. He fondly recalls memories of his time last year in orchestra class, when he shared inside jokes with his friend, violist Dawin Suk. “We shared a lot of funny moments [like] where we’d turn our bow around and play with the tip,” said Roberts.

While Roberts doesn’t see music in his future career plans, he does see himself participating in a community orchestra or a chamber group with friends. He said, “[Music] gives me a way of expressing myself that no other medium offers. I can express so many things with music and that’s what’s so appealing to me about it.”

Other Shorewood students hope to become professional musicians in the future. Shorewood SoundCloud rappers Aiman Alam (@FOE Aiman) and Shane Moses (@FOE Shane) hope to strike it rich through rapping.

SoundCloud rapping is when musicians make music and post it onto platforms like SoundCloud, Apple Music, and Spotify for listeners to discover. “You… make music and you just put it up there. I put it on Apple Music and Spotify. You just drop it on there and people listen to it and hopefully it sticks and you have listeners,” said Alam.

Alam and Moses started rapping because of a friend (@FOE AnthonyB) who got 100,000 playbacks of a song called “Aquafina” that he produced. Alam said, “My brother Anthony, he’s not my brother, but you know. My brother. He made a nice ass song, but then he left to the Philippines. Then I was like, ‘Now I gotta do something. Me and Shane.’ So, now we got to start rapping. Keep the legacy. And, just keep making songs.”

Alam and Moses agree that their favorite part of rapping is when they’re in the studio. “We go to Undercat Studios. It’s like $70 an hour, but it’s worth it. You get it professionally done,” said Alam.

Alam gets inspiration for songs through blasting beats at his home. He said, “My process is I just go home, I connect my phone to my speaker, and then I just play music. I blast a beat, and I just walk around my house trying to freestyle and find that melody. From there, I just type in the lyrics and then, you got a song.”

Moses uses a similar method to get inspiration, but plays music in his car instead of in his house. He said, “For me, I’m just in my car chilling playing some music. That’s how I get lyrics.”

Moses enjoys music as a platform to express himself. He said, “It’s a way to express how you feel. If there’s something you’re mad about, something you want to do, just put it into music and people will like it.”

Alam enjoys the feedback he receives for his rapping. He enjoys receiving supportive texts about his latest songs.

Money is also a motivation for Alam and Moses. Moses added that his goal was to “get rich.” In the future, they both hope to rap professionally.

Alam and Moses are hopeful about their future careers. Alam said, “If everything goes good, we just want to keep pushing on music. Keep it consistent, and hopefully one day, someone with that ear hears it.”