Sharon Olorunniwo, Computer Science Student and Guitarist

Hi, my name is Sharon Olorunniwo and I am a second year Computer Science student at Trinity College Dublin. Ever since I was a kid, I knew that I wanted to work with computers and animation. My parents have always been very supportive of me in choosing a career in STEM, so I did some research to find a STEM course that would also allow me to work on animation and visual effects for films later on in my career. I soon fell in love with programming, so I figured Computer Science was a great fit for me in the end.

Outside of my studies, I am pretty active: sports, skateboarding, movies… but nothing beats playing the guitar and listening to some good music. I was about 7 years old when I got my first guitar – I wanted a drum kit, but my parents said they were too noisy. It was a 3⁄4 size, red classical guitar. I went to some classes, but thought it was too hard and gave up. Two years later, I was in church and the electric guitarist played this crazy guitar solo, and I was in awe. It was from that moment that I decided to take guitar playing seriously. That was about nine years ago, and I have not stopped since.

I have been surrounded by music all of my life. My family has always been musical, so it was almost impossible not to have an interest in music from a young age. I would not say that I have a favourite genre, but I respect and enjoy listening to most genres of music. However, if I were to pick a favourite band, it would have to be an American band by the name of Davis the Band. They are not a very well known band, but their lyricism and melodies are as beautiful as they are haunting. The beauty is really in the simplicity of their instrumentals and the lead vocalists voice. Their genre is more acoustic driven with a singer/songwriter vibe to it.

One of the most important parts of being a musician is simply being a genuinely good person. Most of my favorite artists are as talented musically as they are good people, either to their fans, or in progressing positive ideas. They all use their music to express their feelings and personalities.

Learning music, much like programming, has no age-limit. One of my goals is to learn multiple instruments – I am currently teaching myself to play piano and drums.

My interest in music comes out in my studies as well. Last summer, I was lucky enough to intern at Intel. I was able to meet so many dedicated and interesting people, and they allowed me to explore the different areas I was interested in. For example, I was able to create a MIDI device using an Arduino Leonardo board and other components. We used a software synthesizer and added our own personal audio clips to play with. It was definitely a challenge, but so rewarding to be able to combine music with the tech work I was doing there. While I think that music will be more of a creative outlet for me, I do plan on working in the entertainment industry. If that path takes me into music, then I’m not complaining, so who knows?

Creatively, music is very important for relieving stress throughout my life. I find it particularly helpful to just play my guitar whenever I’m struggling with coursework or an assignment as a means to clear my head. What is best about playing is that you are not really following any given rules or specifications; you are free to do and play whatever feels right to you at that moment. For me, it is really all about going with the flow. I am not under any stress while I am playing which allows my creativity to flow through.


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