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By Ato Noel

When

I was around fours years old I received piano lessons from my father, but never continued to be actually good at the piano. In elementary school I received a general education which just covered the different types of instruments and its function in the ensembles. When I was around 7 years old I was in a choir directed by my father. I really enjoyed this experience because we used to put on these big Christmas concerts that I looked forward to every year. I joined the choir just to be apart of that experience.

Though

I received a general education in Elementary school I was not given the opportunity to play an instrument. When I was in the 4th grade the school implemented a band program. The reason why I did not participate in the school band is because the principle hand picked the students she thought would excel at music. At the time I did not think anything of it, but when I look back on it I realize how unfair that was of her to not give every student the same opportunity.

I did not start playing an instrument till the 6th grade. I remember my father asked me what instrument I would like to play on our way home. Automatically I replied the clarinet. I dont know what made me choose the clarinet because I have never heard anything performed by clarinet that actually made me want to start playing the clarinet. I took up private Clarinet lessons at the Brooklyn Conservatory of music. I continued to play clarinet partially because my Middle School did not have a music program whatsoever, and when I was a child I did not yet find the joy in practicing.

was in the 8th grade and I was at that point where we had to start thinking about what High School I wanted to go to. I wanted to go to a performing arts high school. I found motivation and started practicing a lot, and with hard work I put in I was accepted to Brooklyn High School of the Arts. Looking back I was very fortunate to be accepted to Brooklyn High School because that school elevated my playing and I got to experience a lot of things.

Most

students came from a middle school with a music program. My sight reading was terrible, it was so terrible that I got discouraged from practicing it diligently. I did not make a commitment to really improve my sight-reading until I was in the Inter School Orchestra of New York (ISO)

Did not get into a College with a music program the first time due to my academics. I was lucky to be able to play at the conservatory at Brooklyn College. I learned a lot and gained much more experience. It was a good experience, but not good enough for me to stay there. Some where in the middle of the year I auditioned for Crane and I cleared my audition.