Four instruments and a dream: freshman sets sights on the future

It’s a Saturday afternoon and she’s sitting cross-legged in her bed, her homework pushed aside for the time being, her guitar comfy in her lap. Not even an hour later, she’s switched gears; the glossy lid of her piano is pushed back and her fingers dance over the keys as she hums the melody to her favorite song. This is the life of one of LZ’s new freshmen, armed with an arsenal of musical instruments and a love for what she does.

Music is the thing I want to do with my life, but it’s also just a way to make myself happy, enjoy the moment, forget all the bad things and express [my] feelings,” Alicia Maka, freshman, said. “It’s my passion.”

It is because of this joy that she finds in her music that has enabled her to pursue five musical disciplines: guitar, piano, and voice, along with ukulele and violin.

However, despite already knowing how to play four instruments, Maka says that she still wants to learn more. While this endeavor, alongside the stress of school, may seem difficult and exhausting, Maka says that she is her love for music keeps her upbeat.

“School isn’t an issue to juggle, because [whenever] I’m stressed out about school, I just go to my instruments,” Maka said. “It’s good to have both and [for me], it doesn’t really become a conflict.”

Whether she’s in school or outside of it, Maka has found a way to incorporate music into every day of her life. This school year, she intends to lend her voice and her strings to choir and orchestra. But her passion for music is not simply a hobby; in the future, Maka also has plans to major in music in college.

“I want to be able to write my own songs, sort of [like I do now], and I also want to be able to perform in front of a lot of people,” Maka said. “I just want to be the best musician I can be, and then maybe start a band or go solo, and just have independence in my music life.”

To achieve her goals, Maka says that she has a “secret weapon” when it comes to music-making.

“[I have the ability] to hear a song a certain number of times and then being able to learn it by ear with basically any instrument,” Maka said. “So when I hear [a song a few times], I can learn it without actually looking at the notes. At the same time, it’s also kind of a problem because sometimes [when I’m playing a song], all I do is try to learn it by ear while not reading the music, and I’m trying to avoid doing that.”

Despite some of the struggles that Maka faces, she says that she is constantly being supported by the people around her.

One of these people is Todd Crnovich, Maka’s father, who says he was “the one who got [her] into music when she was only two hours old by playing her [Elvis Presley’s] ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’”, the song that he says he hopes to dance to at Maka’s future wedding.

Being the person who was by Maka’s side from the very beginning, Crnovich says that he has seen first-hand how persistent she has been in her ambitions, and consistently encourages her to keep doing her very best.

“She’s always just said, ‘I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna play violin [and] I’m gonna be a musician,” Crnovich said. “I can’t remember my daughter not singing or playing something, and she’s very disciplined. I’ve never had to tell her to practice- she [just] does it. She takes the time, she was born with a gift, and I’m gonna give her the best opportunity I can. I don’t think I’m being unrealistic at all to say my kid’s talented.”

In addition to the support of her father and the rest of her family, Maka also has the encouragement of her friends.

“Alicia talks about music a lot, and how she wants to make people happy with her music, and how [that] is what she wants to do when she’s older,” Jenna Fleita, freshman and Maka’s friend, said. “I’m so happy that she has made these dreams because with her amazing talent I know [they will come true], and I can’t wait for people to hear her beautiful voice and [all her] music!”