Tuning Out With Tunes by Jonathan Schor


My first introduction to music was my Mom. Growing up we would always listen and sing along as she played through her repertoire, anything from classical piano to Ray Charles to the Yiddish folk songs she grew up with.

The only major rule she and my Dad had for me and my siblings was that we had to play an instrument, which, having such a cool example to look up to, wasn’t too much of a struggle.

I began with cello when I was around six and became indoctrinated into the world of classical music, while at the same time falling in love with hip hop through my morning bus rides and my friends at school.

The natural culmination, then, was to begin producing musically-rich hip hop beats and rapping over them. Being raised in Pittsburgh, seeing kids that you grew up with like Malcolm McCormick (Mac Miller) become big stars, made the idea of aspiring towards being a musician seem less surreal.

Even though it likely won’t ever become my career, it’s something that gives me a chance to break out of the medicine/science bubble I find myself in and explore a different medium for creative expression.

This piece, Brothers, is off of a new mixtape I released on October 3. As the name of the piece might suggest, it’s about two people with whom I’ve shared nearly all of life’s highs and lows: my twin brother, Stanford (an MD/PhD student at Stanford, coincidentally) and my older brother, Asher (a third-year law student at Berkeley).

In the past few years, since we all relocated from all over the country to the Bay Area, we’ve become each other’s home-away-from-home. I can’t express how proud I am of both of them for persevering and arriving at where they are now, and this song is just a small homage to all that they’ve done for me.

I hope you enjoy, and feel free to check out the rest of the mixtape at https://soundcloud.com/jonathanschor.

Jonathan Schor is a second year MD/PhD student.