Jason Pottie: Environmental Service worker at Northwood at the Harbour

I love my job at Northwood, but my real passion in life is music. I’m a self-taught piano player, but I also enjoy singing, whistling and writing songs. Music has been a part of my life since I was little and I’ve always been interested in pianos.

It all started about 19 years ago when a resident gave me a chord book. I used the book to teach myself how to play basic chords and I worked really hard at it, practicing every day. Although I still can’t read music, I’m usually able to figure out the melody by ear.

About 16 years ago, I realized I wanted to start writing music, both lyrics and music. I tend to be inspired by real life events, so I started with a song for my step-daughter, followed by songs for both my sons. I’ve also written songs about 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Over the years, I’ve probably written about 150 songs, of which 20-25 are quite good. Writing music has been a great way to express myself.

Northwood has always encouraged me to pursue my music and I’ve appreciated the opportunity to showcase my talent at various events. When the first Northwood Idol contest was held in 2005, it was the first time I’d ever entered anything like that. I played one of my very own songs and won. It was definitely a highlight for me. Recently I’ve given two Sunday night performances in the Harbourview Lounge and hope to do more in the future. In fact, whenever I see a piano I try to give even five minutes if I can. It’s wonderful to see residents lifting their heads to listen and tapping their toes.

Music is no longer a hobby for me. I normally play anywhere between one to three hours every day. I’m a lot more confident now, but I still like learning new things every day. I’m kind of like a big sponge. My next big goal is to play with other musicians and learn as much as I can.

When I’m not at work or playing music, I also enjoy sports and have recently taken up playing golf. I started working at Northwood in the Mini Mart in 1994, and moved to Environmental Services shortly thereafter. Northwood has been a great place to work!