A Whole Note of Talents

Junior has expanded his musical capability to multiple instruments


photo by Gabriel Paredes

Junior Alexander Martinelli practices the flute for the Millard West Band. He started playing the flute in elementary school and has kept with it since. “It feels really nice to have a skill that you have improved,” Martinelli said. “If you find a song that’s interesting and you know the instrument, then sometimes just playing through it is really fun.”

Kaitlyn Willard, Features Editor

Bows glide up and down. The strings ring throughout the elementary orchestra. The 9 and 10 year-olds are beginning their journey in the world of music. What started out with just playing the violin in fourth grade, has now expanded into a wide arsenal of abilities throughout many instruments. As he grew, so did his spectrum of apparatuses. Through the years, junior Alexander Martinelli has picked up multiple instruments and stuck with them all, totalling up to six different instruments.

With a love for music, Martinelli has kept himself motivated to take on the task of learning new musical instruments just for the pure joy of doing so. He draws inspiration from no one but himself and his enjoyment.

“I really appreciate music,” Martinelli said. “It fulfills a niche in my life that I don’t think anything else really could. I don’t think I’ll have any issues keeping it on my life.”

Martinelli plays the violin, flute, harp, piano, drum kits and guitar. If any instrument sparks an interest, he picks it up and learns it. Just a few years ago, he took interest in the harp and piano when he saw the school owns both.

“I can’t take a harp or piano home and I don’t have either at my house which means I have to play them through school,” Martinelli said. “After lunch, I like to spend 20-30 minutes just playing through some stuff. You just have to give up eating and then you can fit everything else in.”

Although it is a relatively new skill, Martinelli immensely enjoys learning and playing the harp. What struck a chord with him was the sound the harp produces as it sounds like no other instrument. He has even earned a spot playing the harp for upcoming weddings.

From fourth grade to now, his music skills have grown exceptionally. Through learning a multitude of instruments, he has gained experience in reading music and improving his ear which helps when he transcribes music for orchestra. What started out as little knowledge about music turned into a passion he will hold onto for many years.

“It is one of the best feelings in the entire world to hear something that you thought there is no way I’m going to do that and then in a month or a year or however long it takes you, you finally have it down and you’re just happy,” Martinelli said. “It feels really nice to have a skill that you have improved but at the same time, if you look back at recordings and stuff from way back then, it’s awful. It is incredible how different everyone in music is when they first start out because they have no idea what they are doing.”

Martinelli has involved himself in orchestra and band. He is also involved in the orchestra committee which helps pick out the music the orchestra will play for concerts.

“As a musician, the kid’s brain is fantastic,” orchestra teacher Samuel Zeleski said. “The interesting role about his role in the programming committee is that he also arranges music and writes some. He’s going to help me arrange some of these tunes that don’t have music already written for orchestra.”

Although Martinelli is only at school for two blocks, as he is homeschooled, he keeps busy with rigorous classes both online and at Millard West. Rather than having to take the prerequisite for classes he is able to take at an advanced level, Martinelli takes advanced placement classes through Metro without the prerequisite.

“He is in my Calc Three class as a junior which is pretty impressive,” math teacher Megan Smith said. “He comes to me and asks me questions about math that I haven’t even heard of. He’s taught me some things that I didn’t even know before. I just like that he is always wanting to have explanations and understand what is going on versus just learning a procedure and moving on.”

With an abundance of instrumental skills under his belt, he ironically does not want to go into the music field. As of now, he plans to go to University of Kansas to major in engineering, nevertheless, Martinelli knows music is a life-long gift he will always have.