While other families might get together and play Pictionary or Trivial Pursuit, Joy of Music School student Autumn and her siblings get together and play chamber music. “I come from a musical family with five brothers and sisters, all musicians. Four of us have studied at the Joy of Music School. I’ve been able to play chamber music with them, and that has been pretty neat.”

Autumn is thirteen years old and an eighth grader. She is homeschooled, and attends the Family Christian Academy. She started her musical training at age 8 when she joined the JoMS Choir in 2010. She also started violin lessons with volunteer teacher, Ariel Buehler, and studied with her for four years. In 2014, she began studying violin with JoMS volunteer teacher Stan Smith and then took up the cello at the School with University of Tennessee Master of Music candidate Sophie Chang.

“The Joy of Music has been a big part of my life, it’s the best!” said Autumn. “I like the people at the school, and I like the opportunity to perform. I especially remember my first performance, which was at the Bijou Theatre, when I was in the choir and how big the stage was – it was all lit up. Amazing!”

When Autumn recently moved up to a full-sized cello, JoMS assigned her a quality instrument in a big, white, hard case.  “I was thrilled!” said Autumn. “I couldn’t wait to play my new instrument with the orchestra!”  Autumn currently plays cello (3rd stand, 6th chair) in the Philharmonia Orchestra of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Association.

Asked about her learning experience at JoMS, Autumn was enthusiastic.  “They’ve taught me so much over the years. My teachers have been very patient, and very helpful.”  She added that she’s been able to keep up with her siblings, and even tell them a thing or two. “Thanks to the Joy of Music School, I can make a real contribution to our music together!”