Connor Queenin

Music Inspired by Jazz Elements

The Scholar: Connor Queenin

The Project: Music Inspired by Jazz Elements

The Essential Question: “Ever since I was 13, I started writing music. I wasn’t that good, but I’ve improved over the years and I wanted sort of a half-excuse to do it in school, but also to have it in an academic setting where I could study music elements. I could bring my music to the next level, you know what I’m saying? So for my project, I studied jazz elements and combined them with accessible production to make them into accessible songs with music-type theory and rhythmic elements that could be considered complex.”

Surprising Discovery: “I’m really picky. I wrote three songs and for every single song I wrote, I probably have around 15 versions of the song. I write the songs and I’ll write them in a day, but the song is never close to being done. So there’s always stuff I can add and always stuff I can go back and adjust to make it better, and I feel like it’s never complete—like fully complete.”

Biggest Challenge: “It sort of ties back into the last question. I studied all of this cool stuff and I wanted to add it into the songs, but there’s just so much information to express. I want to share so many different types of music, but there’s only a limited amount of space and time that I have to work on the projects.”

Tip for Future Scholars: “Be ready to work. There’s limited time and you have to hop on that. And I made that mistake, I joined the class and I didn’t take the prep work as seriously as I should have. I put so much time into the other stuff, but I feel like the prep work and planning out your time, getting your inspiration and stuff like that out, is just as important because then the project goes smooth sailing ahead after that.”

What’s your favorite instrument to play? “Definitely a piano, because I feel like with a piano, you can make it sound like anything. You have electronic instruments and you have synths and virtual instruments, stuff like that, and it’s all based around a piano. So I feel like if you learn how to play the piano, you can learn how to play any instrument.”