Berklee City Music Boston sat down with Mentoring Program student Joshua Natal and his mentor, Harry Zec.
What Does Berklee City Music mean to you?
J: City Music is an opportunity to have awesome teachers, to learn about and improve on my instrument, to observe what college life will be like, and to make new friends who also love music.
H: City Music is a way for me to help somebody out and to educate someone, the same way I was educated. Teaching them and helping them also helps me to learn.
What is it about music that makes you want to be a musician and potentially pursue a career?
J: When you express yourself, it touches other people. The emotions that go through me, and then seeing other people feeling them too is great. Music is a lifestyle, with many struggles, but it’s fun.
H: I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. It’s something I want. Something that makes me happy.
Who had the greatest influence on your life and why?
J: My former band director and Juan Maldonaldo. My band director really gave me every opportunity possible, and pushed me to learn and grow. And I just love Juan Maldonaldo.
H: My guitar teacher from home, Gino Heiter, and my dad. My teacher taught me about music education and playing music. He always explained why he does what he does when teaching. He taught me not to be aimless, and that everything happens for a reason.
Outside of music, what are your interests and hobbies?
J: I don’t really have any. My schedule is eat, sleep, music.
H: I like to work out and meditate. Sometimes I watch TV or read. I like to hang out with friends, and I really like to eat.
What are your hopes for your education from Berklee?
H: I’m just trying to learn a lot now, and to get involved in clubs and stuff, to have as many opportunities as I can. I’m doing what I want, and I’ll see where it takes me. I hope to learn a lot about performing and composing.
J: I really want to gain knowledge, to make new friends, and to truly get the most out of my education. I want to get into two majors as well as a minor.
Describe your relationship as mentor and mentee:
J: I practice and do what he says.
H: I try to understand what he’s doing and understand where he’s been. Not just acting like a teacher, but like a friend, too. I want to make it so that he wants to do the work. Josh understands where I was last year. Older teachers are trying to go home to their families and just do it. They don’t necessarily give reasons for what they do.