#MusicMadeUs

Life On The Spectrum – Jamie Peterson

5th December 2019

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My name is Jamie. I’m 20 years old and I’m a songwriter and aspiring music producer from Woodford, East London. Currently, I am a student at BIMM Institute London, studying a BA (Hons) Music Production Degree.

I threw myself into the music scene at the age of twelve in my secondary school. At this time, I was very inspired by The Beatles; especially Paul McCartney, the bassist.  He would influence me to join the school rock band as a bass player. The catch was that I couldn’t play bass, let alone a guitar back then!

The teacher was kind enough to give me six months to learn bass and I learned very quickly. The next year, I joined the school rock band, plus the school jazz band. Nowadays I play guitar and drums too!

At age fourteen, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s. I believe this influenced my interest in music because people with it tend to have specific focuses or obsessions and mine just happens to be music! People with Asperger’s can be very socially awkward, especially with unfamiliar faces. But, music changed my world by enabling me to express myself without words.

I chose ‘East London Arts and Music’ as the college to continue my journey into the music industry. I learnt songwriting, theory, performance, production and more.

Even though I have more experience with performing, I found I enjoyed music production much more and that I had more patience with it than I did with performance. This led me to study my degree at BIMM Institute London.

“My life is fuelled by music.”

I can, confidently say, that my life is fuelled by music. I listen to music as if it were oxygen to my lungs. It helps me get through tough times and keeps me going in life.

I’m not just a listener, but a practitioner in music as well. My goal is to create a production company that specialises in Rock and Pop music after I complete my degree. I ultimately want to restore rock music to its former glory, as I feel that most rock music today is a throwback from the last decade or before and it needs to evolve and innovate to dominate the music scene again.

I made a video about this condition back in April of 2019. The video’s intention was to spread the message that people with Aspergers/Autism are human too and shouldn’t be treated any differently. I believe we are  misunderstood and society needs to better address the stigma that exists with people on the spectrum. This video will educate others to better understand this condition, and know how to react correctly around someone with it.

I recognise Asperger’s as a gift with a few misunderstood quirks, so if you meet someone who might have it, take your time with them. If you are reading this and you have Aspergers/Autism. You are not an alien or broken… You are a wonderful human.

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Jamie Peterson

Jamie is a student at BIMM Institute London, studying a BA (Hons) Music Production.