Kettering skateboarding violinist teen filling park with classical music

Local News

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — If you listen closely, the sound of classical music fills Hills and Dales Park, and it’s coming from a Kettering 13-year-old.

Thomas Bussen is a self-taught violinist, and even more impressive is that he also skateboards while playing.

“I just randomly thought while sitting at the park it would probably be fun to ride the skateboard and play my instrument and see if I could do it,” says Thomas.

Thomas started playing the viola at 9 years old. A teacher first showed him correct posture and taught him the names of notes. He took that lesson and ran with it, teaching himself how to play, practicing on his own, and transitioning to the violin. While he was initially learning to play the viola, he also took up skateboarding. Just last year, he combined his two talents, practicing in his neighborhood and the park. In doing so, he’s attracted some attention.

“I started riding on it, and I wasn’t feeling unbalanced or anything so I just like continued to do it. And a few days later, this one family–their children were all staring at me and it was kind of funny to watch,” humbly states Thomas. “When I ride around–it’s helped people with their depression, and some people have even given me like five dollars.”

Playing with the maturity of a seasoned musician, Thomas says balance is key.

“When you’re playing the violin, it’s hard enough to try and keep the pressure, the weight of the bow balanced to make an even sound. And when you’re riding the skateboard a lot of times the road is very rocky and so you have to try and keep it– the notes sound as smooth as possible,” describes Thomas.

Thomas has dreams of becoming a soloist someday.

Despite currently drawing a crowd, he doesn’t do any of it for attention.

“I just simply do it because I like to ride the skateboard. I like to play the violin,” simply states Thomas.


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