By Maya Stone
WARSAW — In Kosciusko County the talents and skills are unlimited. This talent spreads to all ends of the cities and among all the people young and old.
Layla Silveus is 18 years old and knows how to play a multitude of instruments — from the cello to the ukulele — and her list keeps growing.
Silveus grew up in a very musically inclined family and was always picking up random instruments to try and pick at them and learn how to play.
At the age of 8, she learned her first song on the guitar: Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” Then at 10 she started being classically trained on the cello.
Her first time playing was a magical moment for her. She described the experience as “just feeling so comfortable and familiar.” She said when it came to playing, everything came so naturally to her. Her initial goal was just to pick strings and see how everything sounded; she never expected this to be the moment she realized everything was going to change.
Silveus’s growing list of instruments she’s learned to play includes the cello, guitar, piano, stand-up bass, viola and ukulele. She can play them all fluently and is working hard to master several other instruments at the moment.
Being one of the first instruments she learned how to play, it fits that the guitar is her favorite instrument, followed closely by the ukulele because of its similarities to the guitar but with its own twists and uniqueness.
Although she has a vast appreciation for all musical instruments, she doesn’t always enjoy playing the violin, because it feels smaller in her hands, although she thinks the sound is gorgeous.
With her family being the sole reason why she started getting into music, her dad played a huge role in starting her love for the skill.
When Silveus was a child, her dad was always messing around with his guitar, whether that was plucking at strings to pass time or occasionally rocking out when he felt like it. As she watched this she finally asked him to teach her a few things and this is where her passion started.
Silveus mostly just keeps her talent to herself, but she occasionally posts videos on social media. Recently she has started playing and singing to individual residents at the nursing home where she works.
When asked how playing makes her feel, Silveus said, “Once I start, I almost can’t stop. As I’m playing, though learning something new can be frustrating, I fall in love with each chord I play and each note I pluck out. Ultimately, there’s a feeling of relaxation and serenity.” She said she started playing because the music soothes her soul.
She is planning to learn many new instruments, and is currently trying to learn one new instrument but would love to learn more woodwinds and brass instruments.