Bulldog Spotlight: James Kreft


There is a section of Chelsea High School devoted to the arts, and chances are, you will find James Kreft (‘22) there for the majority of his school day. Whether it is ceramics, photography, or orchestra, Kreft has done it all, thriving in the ideal classroom experience that art classes offer him.

“[Art classes] make you use your brain in a different way than other classes,” Kreft said. “There’s a lot to choose from which is really nice.”

Kreft’s artistic endeavors in school started all the way back in 5th grade, with music programs being mandatory for every student. His choice between orchestra, band, and choir was influenced by his interest in violin, although he eventually ended up playing the cello.

“I already played violin,” Kreft recalled. “I figured I’d stay in the same group.”

This choice to continue with music prompted Kreft to try new things. From 2015 to the present day, Kreft has taught himself roughly nine new instruments, including other stringed instruments such as the guitar and banjo. As of now, Kreft says that the harmonica is the hardest for him to play.

“It’s just different from all the other [instruments],” Kreft said. “It’s not physically hard to play, but the harmonica is just the weirdest.”

In the process of learning a new instrument, Kreft really pushes on the idea of finding your own flow. For Kreft, forcing yourself to play an instrument simply for practice is when all the enjoyment seems to fade away.

“I never sit down to practice, I just play for fun–[which] I just happen to do a lot,” Kreft said. “I don’t know much music theory so learning new stuff is basically just experimenting.”

Although he doesn’t create art outside of school, Kreft appreciates the skills that CHS art and music classes have to offer. Just like he enjoys a variety of instruments to play, Kreft enjoys taking a lot of different art classes and by the end of his senior year, he will have taken 10 different art classes.

“My favorite class so far has been photography, it was full of great experiences,” Kreft said.

The amount of enjoyment Kreft gets out of art and music classes really is the difference between his involvement and absence in them. When he is having a good time, he knows he is in the right place.

“You should do what you want to do,” Kreft elaborated. “If you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing, you aren’t going to get very far.”