Strings Chair Finds Success With Cello Despite Visual Impairment

(VIDEO) Jeffrey Lastrapes started playing cello at 12-years-old and hasn't stopped since.

Piano was the first instrument Jeffrey Lastrapes learned to play. He switched to violin in fifth grade before finding his true calling as a musician.

"Cello is my instrument," said Lastrapes. "It's as if it's my voice and I'm lucky I found it."

Music was a natural fit for Lastrapes, who lives with a blinding birth defect that prevented him from playing contact sports.

"I've never known what regular vision looks like," he explained. "I don't drive (and) I use special glasses to see."
Today, Lastrapes is an associate professor of cello at Texas Tech. Despite his disability, he's traveled and performed all over the world and said he sees the impact music has on people's lives every day.

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School of Music

The School of Music

The School of Music is part of the J.T. and Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts.

With more than 500 students, the size is ideal for creating larger ensembles as well as ensuring individual attention with private study.

Faculty includes a performing specialist on all band and orchestral instruments as well as piano, voice, organ, harp and guitar, and specialists in conducting, composition, electronic music, music education, musicology, world music and music theory.