Throughout his high school career, senior Teddy Froelich believed that math and science were his callings. However, a change of heart revealed what his true passion was all along: music.
What made you decide to go to college for your music?
It’s actually pretty funny because I went through my freshman, sophomore and junior years thinking [that] I was going to major in engineering or some science or math because I go to the Academy of Science. So I really thought I was going to do that because I’m pretty good at it and I really enjoyed it. Coming towards the end of junior year, I assessed my life again and I realized that most of my free time was filled with playing the violin, and I didn’t realize that I was having a lot of fun in high school and I thought it was because of the math and science and stuff. But I realized that it was actually because of the violin. That’s when I realized that I liked violin so much.
What was your most memorable and rewarding experience with music?
The Virginia Governor’s School for Visual and Performing Arts. I went there for violin. It’s basically a month-long camp that you apply for your sophomore and junior years and you go over the summer. It’s four weeks long. It was at Radford for the Visual and Performing Arts. You stay. . .in the dorms and stuff. It’s a great college experience and everything. You basically spend the whole time hanging out with friends and doing an intensive music study program.
Do you like math and science for the same reasons that you like music?
I guess you could find some similarities. Especially in elementary school with math. My brother is two years older than me, so he’s a sophomore [right now]; he goes to NOVA. I would always go to him to teach me extra math because he was a math wiz in elementary school. He would always be teaching me things that he was learning like two years [ahead] my grade level. That was so much fun for me. I love the fact that there were no limits to what you could learn and what people could teach you, and I guess that applies to violin because you can teach violin; you can keep getting better and better with more practice and so there is no real limit. There is no curriculum that you have to follow and stay along with everyone else. If you want to go above and beyond, you can go ahead.
Did that experience convince you to make music the centerpiece of your future?
It definitely did because during my junior year, I wasn’t really confident in my music playing skills because I [thought], “This is a really late decision. What if I’m not good enough?” I’m really behind. I’ve taken lessons for three years but the average person majoring in music has taken lessons for at least 10 by now. I’m actually pretty far behind and. . .only eight violinists make it into this state-wide program and so I was like, “I probably won’t be able to make it,” [but] then I did make it. That was a big confidence booster, showing that I actually could do it.
Why do you enjoy math and science?
I’m a big thinker. I like logic. I’ve always liked logic puzzles, figuring things out by yourself, which is why my favorite science is physics. It’s all variable manipulation. It’s basically like a huge puzzle or mystery, and it really interests me.
What is your ideal career in the music industry?
The music industry is a really complicated world. When I graduate, at least, I want to start out teaching private lessons to kids, basically freelancing like what I do now. I play for weddings and…farmer’s markets. Whatever I can do to get tips and stuff. In my future, after I graduate college. . . other than teaching private lessons, my ideal career would be teaching violin at a college level and playing [in] professional orchestras, like the Richmond Philharmonic.
photo / Sacha Gragg