Jr. Ashlanders: Liam Keith

Liam Keith is passionate about playing the violin. The 10-year-old Willow Wind student smiles warmly when he speaks about practicing the violin and he glows when he picks up the instrument and begins to play.

"He's very self-driven," said Liam's father, Scott Keith. "Liam is pursuing his own passion. He'll practice on his own for over an hour, sometimes two hours a day. It's all him, pursuing what he loves."

Indeed, Liam is working to offset the cost of his violin lessons by busking, playing music for tips in Lithia Park.

Liam's fiddle teacher, Duane Whitcomb, noted the joy Liam has for the violin.

"Liam brought so much energy to the fiddle camp," he said. "I especially enjoy his enthusiasm for sharing his talent. Most young musicians need a little encouragement to play in front of others. But after I taught him the first tune, he was ready to put the case out on the sidewalk and start busking."

The talented musician spoke with the Daily Tidings at Lithia Park and even played one of his favorite tunes.

DT: What grade are you entering in the fall?

LK: I'll be going into fifth grade.

DT: What are your favorite subjects in school?

LK: I like math. I like working out puzzles in my head.

DT: Talk about someone who inspires you.

LK: All the great musicians of the world inspire me.

DT: What do you like to do in your free time?

LK: Reading. I love reading.

DT: Talk about playing the violin.

LK: I love playing the violin. It can be challenging at times but it's fun. I love everything about it. I've been playing for two years now. I'm studying the classical Suzuki method and I went to fiddle camp this summer where I just got to play with other kids. We even had a concert at Grilla Bites.

DT: Do you have a favorite song you like to play?

LK: Oh yeah, it's called "Swallowtail." it's an Irish jig.

DT: You play in the park to earn money for lessons.

LK: It's fun, and I'm just glad to help out in the family.

DT: What do you think you may want to do when you grow up?

LK: I want to sail around the world and play violin as a career.

DT: Talk about something you have done that makes you proud.

LK: Getting a spot in the talent show at school last year. You had to audition, and I got in, and I got to play violin.

DT: Talk about something that is challenging for you.

LK: My dad losing his job.

DT: Tell us about someone in your family who makes you proud.

LK: My little sister makes me proud. She wants to do everything I do.

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