Real School piano student and Reading High School (MA) senior Zack Sahagian shares some big news about his future, how music has made an impact on his life, and his advice for aspiring musicians.
What's the big news about your future that you'd like to share?
Zack: In the fall, I'll be attending Berklee College of Music to continue my studies as a piano player and a musician.
What's the most exciting part about going to Berklee?
Zack: From what I've heard, the opportunities are endless. You can make a lot of connections and I'm looking forward to the type of people I'm going to meet.
Tell us more about your background. How long have you been playing the piano?
Zack: I've been playing for eleven years. I started when I was seven years old.
Why did you decide to come to Real School and what do you like best about it?
Zack: I came here in the seventh grade because I was looking for a more rigorous education in music. The best part about Real School is I am lucky enough to have a teacher like Eric Goldberg so knowledgable about so many genres of music. I was mostly concentrating on classical music, but once I started at Real school I learned about lots of other genres.
How has playing music made a positive impact on your life, or how has it changed your attitude or outlook?
Zack: I am around music all the time. Whether I am practicing piano or listening to music while I study, I always find a way to incorporate music into my everyday life. It drives me to do well all the time in anything that I put my mind to and has given me the ability to be confident in my work.
Why do you think that you've done so well with music?
Zack: The fact that I started fairly young gave me an advantage. Also, I have had nothing but great teachers who do their absolute best to help me get to where I want to be and have worked with me every single week for years. Also, my passion for music drives me to work hard everyday.
What has been some of your most memorable experiences in music so far?
Zack: I was the bass player in a blues band trio and we competed in the under 21-year old Boston Blues Challenge. We won the competition and were invited to play on Beale Street in Memphis during the week of the International Blues Challenge. We played clubs and were able to meet a lot of other bands from all around the country.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are looking to develop their skills?
Zack: Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. When you practice, you have to give it your all everyday and work hard to get the results you desire. Once you get past the tough spot, and become better at your instrument, practicing feels less like practicing and more like playing, which will make you enjoy your instrument a lot more.
Our final question is for your amazing mom, Nancy. What advice do you have for other parents to help support their child's musical growth?
Nancy: Our advice is to take the lead from your child. We have four children and started all of them on piano at 7 years old.
When they wanted to change instruments, we let them. When my daughter wanted to quit playing all together, we let her. When my other son wanted to stop taking lessons and play on his own, we let him.
And when Zack wanted to go from a half our lesson to an hour lesson, we let him. We never had to force Zack to practice or even ask if he practiced that day. He loves to play and will sit at the piano and plays for hours. His passion for music and playing the piano is part of him, it's not something we could make happen.
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