Finding your Forte

By Hannah Harn

“It was home. I lived on stage and music was my life,” said Nick Ramirez, a freshman at Wheaton College near Boston, MA.

Music education shaped Nick’s life. It started with a class play in the second grade and grew into voice lessons, show choir, and an enduring passion for music.

Before finding music, Nick swapped interests. He tried just about everything but he was never the star player. “I wasn’t excelling anywhere. I was just decent.”

Nick wasn’t always interested in music, and he attended his first performance because it was mandatory. In fourth grade Nick got swepted into a miniature production of Bugsy Malone with his younger sister. He found his passion and soon joined the school choir. It was a perfect fit. 

Nick’s school was very diverse, and the choir program was the most unique and well-blended program on campus. “We were nearly 500 strong with people from all sorts of backgrounds. We were a family. We didn’t feel like different people. We were performers, all of us in it together. All the different backgrounds allowed us to see new perspectives.”

Music taught Nick about life and mentorship. “I value the years of advice from my director. His pieces of wisdom encouraged us to have wide eyes, to extend ourselves, and to work hard. I learned how to be humble, whether I left with gold or nothing at all.”

Nick’s experience in choir has taught him how to manage an audience, a skill that will carry him far into the professional world. “Music has boosted my confidence. I’ve become much better at performing and presenting myself.”

Performing helped Nick find the outlet he needed.“Music communicates emotion. It’s my gateway to feeling,” Nick said. “Sometimes, all a person needs is to hear someone openly display their emotions. Music offers that. It’s the universal language.”

Nick hopes to share his passion for music education with other students. Music education, whether it’s vocal, instrumental or dance-based, is an important emotional outlet for people of all ages. Music education teaches passion, discipline, hard work, humility and optimism. It’s raw emotion and it’s part of the human experience.

Are you interested in bringing music education to Boston public schools? Learn more about Making Music!

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