A gift from his grandma led to Aidan Guikema’s musical life

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Grace Crook, Staff Writer

Music is an essential part of life for almost everyone, but for junior Aidan Guikema, it’s so much more than a beat and rhythm. 

At just six years old, Aidan knew he wanted music to be a crucial aspect of his life. Although he didn’t always plan to keep music at the top of his list, an unexpected Christmas gift gave him the opportunity for a new path.

“I got a play drum set from my grandma [for Christmas],” Aidan said. “It set the beginning of me getting into music.” 

While he has continued to play his many instruments for over 10 years, he explained how it was a spur of the moment opening for him to embrace this hobby.

Aidan’s love for music has remained constant. Along with playing the drums, he has picked up the skills to play piano and, recently, guitar. The school’s percussion requirements requested two years of piano, which Aidan took up without hesitation. 

He likes to play freely and the freedom outside of percussion class allows him to play what he wants. 

“I’m glad I’m gone so I can [play] music on my own,” Aidan said. “I can go at my own pace with how I want and like it.” 

A few years ago, Aidan was diagnosed with Perthes—a rare condition that affects blood flow in the hip—and later had surgery. Despite being restricted to a wheelchair for a few months, Aidan felt free throughout the experience and was still enjoying life to its fullest.

“I could move where I wanted,” Aidan said. “I would go down the halls as fast as I could and no one would stop me.” 

Though his hip surgery in the spring temporarily immobilized him, Aidan only grew closer with his relationship with music. He didn’t let Perthes stop him from playing the piano despite being bed-bound

“[Being on rest] brought me closer to music because I figured if I couldn’t do anything else during that time, I could sit down and learn a few songs,” Aidan said. “The only thing I could really do was play my music.” 

Through the years, Aidan has started building relationships with people who have a similar calling to music. 

“I have a few [friends] from Northern who enjoy playing guitar,” Aidan said. “And I’ve made some friends through music.” 

Aidan enjoys the feeling music gives and the moments of freedom he experiences when he listens to music. He uses music as a getaway from the stress of school, reminding him to relax. 

“Playing music gives me a freeing feeling,” Aidan explained. “ [When I listen to music] I can escape and do whatever I want to.” 

Although he has faced challenges, Aidan continues to savor life through music. He continues to use his love of music as a source to grow his relationships with his friends, family, and himself.

“Music really impacted my life since the start,” Aidan said. “I’ve loved it since I got that toy drum set [for Christmas] when I was little.”