Playing a different note

Playing an instrument to many seems to be a simple task. However, this talent is much more complex than believed to be. The cognitive neuroscience behind producing music is only part of the elaborate system that is the human brain. Joe Henshaw, a junior at Olathe Northwest, is able to utilize this skill in order to produce the art of music.

“Music has always been a large part of my life,” Henshaw said. “And I owe that to my dad.”

Joe and his father, Steve.

Henshaw became inspired to play music by his father, Steve Henshaw, who played trombone for seven years during his musical career. Because of that, Henshaw decided he wanted to fill his dad’s shoes and take part in music as well.
“Fifth grade was when I able to first join band,” he said. “There, I discovered I was passionate for music like my dad and also where I first began playing the tuba.”

Fast-forward to today where Henshaw is a tuba player for the Olathe Northwest Raven Marching Band. He is also enrolled in Symphonic Band, where Henshaw practices the marching music along with fellow band members.

ONW Marching Band (above) performing at Olathe District Marching Band Festival last year.

However, being involved in two separate band groups can take its toll on a high school student.

“I easily spend over 200 hours outside of school for marching band,” Henshaw said. “Along with that, there’s the class time that I spend in Symphonic Band too.”

Those 200 hours span the entire marching season, including practices, festivals, and other performances throughout the year. Be that as it may, the music is what matters most to Henshaw.

“Playing music is one of those things that you just love,” he said.”It’s fun and being able to do what many cannot is incredibly special.”

Henshaw, after graduating in 2016, plans on attending Avila University for two years to attain a liberal arts degree, afterwards attending the University of Kansas to earn a degree in mechanical engineering.