Playing piano helps one nursing major stay focused


Lynandro SimmonsManaging Editor

Often, art can be a form of escape for artists. Betcherly Calixte, a junior nursing major, uses the piano to express himself and relieve stress.

“It’s one way of coping,” said Calixte. “It’s one of the things that keeps me sane.”

Coming to Earl Hall to play the piano allows him to decompress, he said. Even while having a stressful week, he finds time to play the piano to relax.

“At a very young age my mother always wanted me to play piano,” he said.

Calixte said he taught himself how to play the piano through watching his friends and trial and error.

“It’s something I always found basic,” said Calixte. “You know the C is right next to two black keys and go from there.”

Calixte said a lot of the songs he enjoys playing are gospel songs. Growing up in the church played a huge part in influencing his musical taste. Hearing music in the church also opened him up to other music genres.

“In the church you get to hear everything,” he said.

The music he heard in church ranged from very jazzy selections to R&B. This variety of music opened up his musical palette, said Calixte.

While in church he also extends his artistic talents to a variety of instruments, ranging from the drums and piano to the bass. Depending on what is needed on Sunday, Calixte can find himself playing a variety of instruments.

“My friends also influence me,” said Calixte.

Having friends who are also musicians also opens him up to more music. Though his friends each have their own personal interests, they do not mind sharing music.

“Them having an open mind can lead me to listening from metal to jazz,” said Calixte.

Music—specifically piano music—is something that will always be important to him. Calixte said it’s one of the few things that hasn’t ever left his life.

“Everything else can pass. Girls can leave, family, but music will always be here,” he said.

Calixte said that in the future, he will not force playing any musical instruments on his children. However, just by being around him and seeing his love for the art form he hopes his children will pick it up.

“I’m not one to force anything on anybody,” he said.

Lately the free pianos available in Earl Hall have been very important, said Calixte. It has provided him something to use as an escape as the weeks pass in the school semester. It has also been a place he enjoys to go while he has breaks in between his classes.

“My classes have nothing to do with music right now, but I can always go to the art building to practice for a few hours,” he said.

Though his major is nursing, the piano and music will never be abandoned. He said it has been with him since he was young and will continue to be important.

“It will always be a part of my life,” said Calixte. “Even though I’m a nursing major I want to have a music studio one day.”

Photo Credit: Lynandro Simmons

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