Niles senior relates music to all of life

Published 10:15 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2005

By By RANDI K. PICKLEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Our Star Student for this week is a many-talented young man who will be graduating this year from Niles High School.
Taylor Butts has had a wide variety of experiences. He is a percussionist, an artist, an experienced dirt-biker, and a car enthusiast. He speaks German and he makes a mean pizza.
As for music, it is a major part of Taylor's world. During high school, Butts has played drums in the Varsity Band, Marching Band, Pep Band, Jazz Band, and the Drum Line.
Butts thinks he got some of his interest in music from his dad. "My dad can play just about anything. I remember him playing the guitar with his friends for a Memorial Day party when I was younger. He plays classic rock and folk … kind of laid back."
He plans to major in music when he attends Western Michigan University this fall.
He believes music can relate to almost anything in your life. "I learn better through music," he said. "I took a British literature course recently. I could pick out the patterns in the rhyme scheme of the poems, like in a song."
Butts also said, "I like to write. I took creative writing with Miss Rouse. She's great."
Butts has been in the German Club for the past two years.
Another of Butts' interests is art. At some point in his future he would like to paint and detail cars. "I've been drawing since elementary school," he said, "on the sides of my papers when the teacher was just talking.
Butts' car is an '87 Trans Am, but he doesn't plan to take it with him when he goes to college. "My V8 is a gas guzzler, and with the price of gas now, well, there is a train that goes directly into Kalamazoo. I might take that sometimes," he said.
Taylor plans to come home from college with some regularity. "I'd like to be back every other week to see my family and friends. I have a girlfriend who is a sophomore. I don't want to grow apart," he added.
Other modes of transportation interest Butts as well. His dad used to fly planes when he was younger and he loved to go along for the ride. "Sometimes I got a little queasy up there until I relaxed," he said.
He also raced when he was younger. He said, "I drag raced dirt bikes for a while. I think mine was called an 'Italian Action.'
Sometimes, Butts said, just for the fun of it, "I wear a chef's shirt around. Everybody likes it."
His specialty is barbecued chicken pizza "with barbecue sauce instead of tomato sauce on the crust, then cheese and chicken," he said.
Butts talks often about taking the time to relax in the midst of a hectic schedule. He said, "You've really got to be able to give yourself time to relax and do what you want; take time out and cool down. Don't put everything at in such high gear all the time. The more relaxed you are, the easier it is to come out on top."
This summer, Butts plans to practice the drums. "I want to do a lot of playing," he said. "I also want to work on my car."
According to Butts, he has assisted Mr. Maxwell at school with the manufacturing and techanical students and has done all his friends brakes. "I've always like working with my hands," he said.
When not getting ready for college in the fall, Butts said, "I'd like to 'laze' around - just play video games or sit outside."
He said of his friends, family, and teachers, "I feel really lucky. Everyone tries to help me be better at what I do. I've got a wonderful girlfriend and family behind me who support me."
Butts advice in life is, "Surround yourself with people who are there for you. Don't surround yourself with negatives. It makes things so much easier."