Liliia Smichenko, Arts Reporter
Humber music grad Jennifer Pos had no doubts she would succeed as a musician.
“There were definitely people that doubted that I would be able to become better at playing piano well enough to do that for a living,” said Pos, 28, a one-handed musician who graduated in 2015 from the Bachelor of Music at Humber College.
Pos was eight when she started to play piano, and her parents encouraged her to learn how to master the instrument. This was because their family’s life was surrounded by music and musicians.
Pos was born without the forearm and hand of her left arm, but that didn’t stop her from making her childhood dream of becoming a musician a reality.
“I chose to go to school for music because my career path was obvious from the start,” she said.
When her piano skills reached an intermediate level, some people were skeptical about whether she could do more than that.
However, she just kept trying to play songs that were written both for one hand, for two hands, and even for flute with the support of her piano teacher.
“The hardest part was transitioning into more advanced music,” Pos said.
Sometimes she had to figure out how she should modify the song and whether she could play it at all.
Pos saw one of her friends attending the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto — one of the largest and most respected music schools in the world.
However, that was more advanced for her and she never tried to play. She understood that she couldn’t do that and modified songs, so they could work for her.
In high school, Pos started to teach other kids how to play piano. By the end of Grade 12, she moved from her Nova Scotia home to To- Toronto to attend Humber College’s Music program.
Pos agrees the music industry is a difficult industry to make money in, but she feels lucky to be a piano player because makes it easier for her to find a steady job.
“Being a piano player, I know there is a lot of opportunities,” she said. “I am not really sure what those look like for many other instruments.”
After graduation, she taught music at the Academy of Music in Oakville, Ont., and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2018. How- ever, the commuting became too hard for her after four years.
Now Pos teaches at the Annex Academy of Music in Toronto and plays with three different bands with a wide repertoire ranging from jazz to hard rock, including Strike Scream Run, The Purcell Project and Ryan Dornan. She said that she is getting ready to record with one of these bands and they already have few songs in mind.
Even though they haven’t booked the date for the studio yet, she really hopes that it will work out well.