Last week, the fifth graders at Green Street Elementary School in Phillipsburg, N.J., were preparing for their winter music concert, but it was one musician in particular that parents and staff alike looked forward to seeing play.
That person was Jahmir Wallace, a 10-year-old born without arms who only four months ago had played his first note on a trumpet.
Wallace told WFMZ-TV he had wanted to play the trumpet since the third grade. After seeing his sister play piano, the boy, who wants to be treated like everyone else, thought about what instrument he might like to play.
When he first sat down in front of a trumpet propped up to lip height for him and placed his toes on the valves, he said it felt right.
“I kind of felt like, ‘oh man this is kind of comfortable’ and it kind of felt like this might be the one for me,” Wallace told WFMZ.
Watch Wallace show off his skills:
Even though Wallace doesn’t have fingers to play the brass instrument as it’s traditionally intended, his music teacher Desiree Kratzer never doubted his ability to figure out a way to make it work.
“Everybody who knew him said ‘if Jahmir wants to play the trumpet, we want him to play the trumpet,'” Kratzer told WFMZ.
Wallace didn’t doubt himself either and has a message for others, disabled or not.
“Anybody out there that would like to try an instrument, go ahead and try it,” said Wallace, whose favorite concert song was “Go tell Aunt Rhodie.” “You never know, if you like it, you like it, if you don’t, you don’t. Keep on trying.”