Warwick Valley Student Artist of the Week: Thomas Maiorana


Warwick Valley Student Artist of the Week: Thomas Maiorana

September 26, 2019

‘Music gives me a chance to show my talent. It gives me a chance to express myself.’

Thomas MaoirnaFifth-grader Thomas Maiorana might be the next Frédéric Chopin or Billy Joel.

If that doesn’t happen, he could also become the next Stan Getz or Charlie Parker.

But in the meantime, Thomas is increasing his piano and saxophone playing skills so that he becomes more proficient in each.

Ashley Head, Thomas’ middle school music teacher, said he has an outstanding work ethic, likes musical challenges, is a leader in sharing his musical skills and kindness to his classmates. He participated at last year’s New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Festival as a fourth-grader — sometimes uncommon at that grade level — and attended the Warwick Summer Band Enrichment Program.   For these reasons and more, Thomas is this week’s Warwick Valley Artist of the Week.

“He’s very motivated to play and perform music,” Mrs. Head said. “Tommy goes through the details and come back to class with questions. In addition to his formal musical studies, he also plays and creates music with his friends in his spare time.”

Thomas takes piano lessons outside of school and loves the challenge.

“It (piano playing) can look challenging, but if you do a couple of days’ practice, the songs you play become easier,” he said. “Sometimes, I listen to a song on my phone and decide I want to learn it on piano.”

Bringing electronic-techno music to piano keys

Currently, he’s working on playing British born, Norwegian record producer and disc jockey Alan Walker’s “The Spectre” on his home piano. He’s taking the electronic-techno song and bringing it to life on his piano keys.

“I like playing the piano, it’s fun,” said Thomas. “But I wanted to learn another instrument. I was hoping to play in the band at school.”

There’s where the saxophone entered Thomas’ world. It was his first woodwind instrument choice, and he was thrilled to learn his music teachers selected him to be a saxophonist as they were finalizing student/instrument matches.

Thomas MaoiranaThomas’ sax is a stylish, blue lacquer colored instrument that looks good as the music that comes out of it.

“My mother got it for me on Amazon,” he said matter-of-factly, acknowledging she helped select a nearly perfect matching shirt to wear when meeting a visitor. “I already know how to identify the notes (on the saxophone.) Once I tried it, it turns out I was pretty good.”

It also turns out, as Thomas realized, that he — like others who play an instrument — already know a second language, the language of music.

“I think if you’re able to learn (how to read) music, you might be able to learn French easier,” he added.    

‘If something is hard for you, keep trying and you’ll get it.’

Thomas also felt there were other reasons why music can be important in one’s life.

“It’s fun and if you’re bored, it gives you something to do,” he said. “Music gives me a chance to show my talent. It gives me a chance to express myself. In music, based on how it sounds, it shows emotion. Just like with a drawing or painting, it can be happy or sad.”

While playing music is fun and challenging, Thomas knows playing music also teaches life lessons, too.

“The more you practice something, the better you get,” he said. “If something is hard for you, keep trying and you’ll get it.”





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