PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Like many musicians, Christina Ebersohl closes her eyes when she plays.

“I usually do. I don’t mean to, it just almost happens naturally,” the 29-year-old Portland State University student said. “I get so deep into the music and I kind of forget the outside world. I’m playing for everybody but at the same time I’m playing for myself and playing to honor the music.”

She’s an Army veteran now in her second year at PSU. But the multi-instrumentalist is a rare student in the PSU music program.

Christina Ebersohl is blind.

“So, everything is brand new for everybody,” she told KOIN 6 News.

Growing up, Christina learned more than a dozen instruments. In her early 20s, she studied at a community college, but going to music school was too expensive.

So she joined the Army. Not long after that, she began losing her vision, first in the left eye, and then her right.

Her disorder, neuromyelitis optica spectrum, attacks the optic nerves and spinal cord.

“I can’t really see much out of my left eye anymore but out of my right eye I can see colors and movements,” she said.

https://lintvkoin.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/christina-ebersohl-psu-violist.jpg?w=300&h=185

Christina Ebersohl, an Army veteran and viola player, seen in a screen grab from a Portland State University video

Christina said going blind “was terrifying” at first, but it’s “been an adventure both in a good and bad way.”

“I thought I would never be