Ballarat musician Jack Stacey has a long story to tell about his history in music. But for the talented 20-year-old, it seems recent achievements may just be the beginning of his musical journey.
From first experimenting with the piano at two-years-old, Stacey is now accredited as a professional musician and has completed his first year studying composition at university.
“When he was only a toddler he used to walk up and down the piano just playing one note at a time and I used to put him in a pusher so he wouldn’t fall off the piano stool,” Stacey’s mother Julie said.
Stacey was diagnosed with autism at four-years-old and used piano as a means to express himself after struggling to communicate verbally.
Daniel West, Stacey’s first piano teacher, said music lessons during Stacey’s childhood allowed him to express his feelings through music.
“His playing would be either really happy and excited, or would quite often reveal a lot of frustration,” Mr West said.
“It was through that expression that he was able to share with us what he was feeling and what was going on in his mind.”
At 10-years-old Stacey travelled with his family to London to work with esteemed musician and expert on autistic savants Professor Adam Ockelford for one month. He developed an understanding of music and his own talents during the trip and returned home with a passion for composing for orchestras.
Since the trip to London, Stacey has performed for Top Class as one of the state’s best studying VCE music although he was only in year 10. He has composed a piece for the Ballarat Symphony Orchestra and performed recitals and concerts in Ballarat and Melbourne.
Stacey said playing piano and composing music allowed an expression of self and communication with others in a ‘universal language’.
“It is an emotional release. At the end I feel resolved. I feel like I have expressed what I needed to in such a way that I do it the best I can, and if my words fail, my music doesn’t,” Stacey said.
“If it weren’t for music I would probably still be a very regressed and shy person and I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
Stacey was awarded a scholarship to study composition at the University of New England in Armidale as a distance student. A Ballarat Arts Foundation grant has helped him purchase of an iPad to store sheet music, meaning he can perform requests at gigs.
In the coming years Stacey hopes to complete his Bachelor of Music, create an album and publish his compositions, with a desire to earn a living making and playing music in the future.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: