Senior’s life revolves around music


Andre Burns has shown skills beyond his years at the piano.

Noah Molenda, Staff Writer

Music is a very important part in a lot of people’s lives, including Senior pianist and vocalist, Andre Burns.

“Music is my world,” Burns said. “Music is really my life, as weird as that sounds.”

Burns began his music journey in 6th grade when he joined the choir program at Merrillville Intermediate School. Eventually, towards the end of middle school, his passion grew into a love for piano.

“Actually it was my friend [who inspired me], he played piano a lot and I was kinda jealous so I was like okay, I’m going to start playing too,” Burns said. “Eventually, I started out-playing him as time went by because I took it more seriously, and I just haven’t really stopped since.”

Burns’ focus towards his music career has drastically changed throughout the years.

“I think I’ve grown as a musician tremendously, to say the least,” Burns said. “When I first started, I wasn’t taking any lessons or anything, and I was just teaching myself here and there. Now, I have a teacher, and I’m playing in concertos and masterclasses. Everything is just a lot better now, so I think I’ve come a long way.”

Burns is also beginning to compose music, starting with the music for the upcoming Fall Play, Rose and A Rime, at Merrillville High School.

“The music I’m working on for the Fall Play is extremely stressful,” Burns said. “Composition is something that I never expected myself to be doing. I’m just getting to learn how everything goes, and really starting to have to trust myself in composition. It’s a lot harder and more difficult than it seems, but it’s come along well.”

Burns plans on furthering his music career after high school as well.

“Right now, I’m planning to double major in Piano and Voice, with an emphasis in Vocal Opera and an emphasis in Classical Piano,” Burns said.

Burns has also had support and motivation from multiple teachers, especially Merrillville High School’s Choral Director, Mrs. Melinda Reinhart.

“There’s been so many times Mrs. Reinhart just pushed me to be a better musician, not only as a vocalist, but as a pianist too. Overall, she’s helped my sight reading, she’s helped me vocally, and just all around.”

Reinhart is very proud to see Burn’s growth as a musician.

“Andre is always playing the piano,” Reinhart said. “In one of my other choir classes, we were singing a warm-up song based on John Legend’s All Of Me, and one of the girls quipped, ‘Did you ask Andre if we can sing this? This is all he ever played at Pierce.’ Although he is much more advanced now than that simple tune, Andre is exploring works of some of the world’s greatest classical composers…it has been wonderful watching him develop as a musician.”