Interview: Julian Baptista; Grown unschooler, musician
Can you tell us a little bit about your life growing up?
I was born in Portland Maine, and moved to Salem Massachusetts when I was three. I grew up with two moms, and actually worked for and organization to keep gay marriage legal in Massachusetts.
I went to school from kindergarten and finished the third grade before starting to unschool. After leaving school I began learning guitar at 11, and started to take courses through Harvard Extension at 13. I’m now splitting time between working to become a professional musician, and finishing my senior year at Goddard collage.
How did the music come into your life? When did you start playing and how did that flow?
I have been involved in different kinds of music for most of my life. My first experience performing in front of an audience was during a group singing performance through my church called the Yuletide Festival. I started performing at these festivals when I was four, and began singing solos fairly soon after.
I started learning guitar at 11 with the teacher that my mom Beth had been going to for violin lessons, who also taught beginning guitar. This was shortly after I began unschooling, and probably never would have happened if I had been in school.
What does unschooling mean to you?
Unschool is why I am able to do what I am today. If I had been in school I most likely never would have picked up the guitar, and I would not have had the freedom to put in the time needed to do many of the things I have been able to over the years. Because of unschooling I have been able to develop my musical abilities, take college courses I wouldn’t have been able to in school, and worked in a number of jobs that I would not have considered had I been going to school.
I know you have been involved in some other interesting stuff, would you like to share some of those things with us?
Besides what I’ve said already, one of the most interesting things I’ve done was working for MassEquality over two different canvassing seasons going door to door convincing people to contact their legislators in favor of gay marriage.
What are your plans for the near future? or dreams for the future.
Right now my plans are to pursue a professional career in the music industry. I recently released my first album Lost in the Crowd, and have begun performing at a number of local venues and house concerts. I plan to keep developing this musical career, by building my connections and performing as much as possible. I have already accomplished a great deal in the last few months, and with the support of my fans, I hope to continue to bring my music to more and more people.