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Senior finds creative outlet in music

THURS.| 03-18-21 | FEATURES

     Music has been a creative outlet for senior Phillip Walter ever since he was a little kid. Since April 2020, songwriting has become a new way for Walter to express himself musically amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Occasionally, Walter finds inspiration in writing pop, Christian and country music.

     “My love for music started really early when I began playing the guitar in the fifth grade...,” Walter said. “I do a little bit of both [songwriting and singing covers] and over quarantine I started writing my own music and those are the songs I posted on Instagram.”

     Walter likes to focus mainly on Christian music when songwriting. He feels his strong background in his faith inspires him to write his own words proclaiming his love and beliefs.

     “Love and Serve” is a song I wrote about how God is calling all of his people to live and it really tells the story of my faith

Phillip Walter picture.jpg

Photo contributed by Phillip Walter

and what I believe,” Walter said. “It means a lot because it was the first original song I wrote.”

     Music instructor Frank Jones has served as a significant part of Walter’s knowledge and musical development. Walter began taking lessons at Guitar Unlimited with Jones about 8 years ago, where he then took Walter under his wing, later starting a local band, The Project Band, 3 years later. 

Walter feels his bandmates, Frank Jones, and another Rose senior, Parker Woodall, push him the hardest to become the best musician he can be.

     “We are always going to shows, learning new things, teaching each other new leads and songs,” said Walter. “One of our favorite spots now [to perform] is in Washington at the Harbor District Market.”

     Songwriting is a skill that comes naturally to Walter. He shares most of the music that he creates through social media apps such as Instagram and YouTube. Most of the songs he writes are formed within one sitting, with little breaks in between if needed.

     “For one of my songs, I just sat down, I had the feeling to write a song or to just put some words on paper and I started with what chords I wanted to write, what key I wanted to play in,” Walter said. ”I sat down and I just wrote words that I felt like I wanted to say.”

     Walter has sung covers, but as a songwriter, he feels that singing words and music that comes from his own thoughts and feelings is what makes performing that much better. Walter enjoys putting his own spin and perspective into whatever he plays and shares with others. 

     “When I was really young, I did not know that every artist out there does not always write their own music, but instead have songwriters writing their songs while they perform them,” Walter said. “So for me to do songwriting it makes it more of my song rather than a song that I am just playing, and it gives more meaning to me because it is something of my own creation.”  

     Walter also plays guitar and sings for his local church, Saint Peter Catholic Church every Sunday. A member of the Saint Peter clergy who had watched Walter play and sing knew someone with access to a recording studio and other resources to make the videos on his social media possible.

     With Walter approaching his last semester as a senior and not being far from freshman year of college, he plans to carry music into college but it will most likely remain as a hobby.

     “Music will probably be something that I can either go out on a Friday night if I don’t have anything else and find a downtown place just to go play some music and maybe even earn a little money,” Walter says. “I definitely plan to keep music as a hobby though because I think it is a great skill to have and is always fun at parties.”

     Over the many years that Walter has been practicing, performing and writing music, he has grown dramatically as a musician. While finding comfort in music, he also has found a way to do what he loves the most, playing the guitar, singing and songwriting, and turn it into something he will most likely carry on for the rest of his life. 

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