Nathan Dawkins, 13 years old, has studied at World Heart Beat for five years. He plays the clarinet (Grade 6), saxophone (Grade 4), and the bass guitar.
Nathan has been honoured with Student of the Month due to his determination to achieve, community spirit, support and mentorship of his fellow students, and his eagerness to go above ad beyond what is required from a music student.
He has progressed quickly by constantly challenging himself and striving for higher grades in order to reach his fullest potential. Musical skills came naturally to Nathan, and he feels he would be unfulfilled without the opportunity to develop his talent and explore music.
While the clarinet was not his first choice, he turned to it as he felt it was a more familiar instrument. The mix between jazz and classical appealed to his musical taste and widened the range of music he was able to play. Fellow saxophone WHB student, Rebecca Wing, inspired Nathan to try the instrument as she performed her grade 6 in a concert at their primary school. Bass guitar is a family instrument as Nathan’s granddad played bass in a band, and he encouraged Nathan to start learning. Since, Nathan has taken to it naturally, surprising himself and impressing his teacher.
He often observes how the positive impact of music in life and the world is reflected in many ways, subtle and significant – “It helps you think through problems faster, brings people together, and has helped me make many friends at the academy.”
World Heart Beat has been a vital stepping stone, and he believes it will make him stand out when applying for University and jobs in the future. He acts with discipline, commitment and passion in his musical tasks. Learning how to play instruments helps Nathan understand other academic areas of life, including Maths – “It helps you out in Maths as when you’re doing corrections, I know a trick way because of music.”
He continues to participate in World Heart Beat’s local music events with enthusiasm, including: 51st State Band, the Flash Mob show, and soon, the Jazz Concert, and Home Slough’s Streets Alive festival.
“The Flash Mob was different from anything we’ve done and gave me a lot of confidence. It was exciting to surprise the community with our musical creativity, and experience the happiness music brings.”
Last year, Nathan completed his Jack Petchey Achievement and was presented with his certificate from World Heart Beat’s bassist teacher, Oroh Angiama. This year, he accomplished his Grade 6 Clarinet, and also hopes to have achieved his Grade 7 Clarinet by the end of 2017. He has interacted with the wider music community in South London by participating as a regular guest on the World Heart Beat Music Hour show featured on Wandsworth Radio.
Nathan is determined to pursue a music career, but would be happy as long as music remains a strong part of his life.