Heroes demonstrate the full extent of the human potential, encourage us to strive for the ambitious heights of greatness, and teach us the effective methods we can use to perform our particular crafts with exceptional skill. We typically derive this inspiration from famous adults who have already achieved success. We can, however, also draw that same inspiration from impressive kids who possess exceptional talents and who are fighting to fulfill their potential, maximize their skills, and achieve their goals. We call them SuperKids.
Lafayette’s Ethan Frank is a young piano prodigy that can serve that inspiring role. As a high school junior at the Denver School of The Arts, Ethan is living the life of a seemingly ordinary teenager while also playing prestigious gigs on the keys for multiple jazz bands. Ethan’s musical passions and work ethic have enabled him to get an early start to a promising career, and we can all benefit from being reminded that the toils of hard work are often rewarded with the spoils of great talent.
Ethan first began playing the piano when he was a first grader. Many beneficial qualities of music instilled Ethan with a passion to play the piano and a determination to concentrate on the craft.
“It’s definitely a personal expression,” says Ethan. “I enjoy being able to give my musical reactions and artistic expressions to other people and allowing them to respond.”
The communicative aspect of jazz was especially conducive for Ethan’s valuing of music. He appreciates the concept of multiple minds and various instruments cohesively interacting, collaborating and communicating with each other.
“The improvisation of jazz is really special,” exclaims Ethan. “The improvisation forces you to have a natural and authentic reaction to what’s going on around you. You can really play with sounds and consider what the sounds mean to the listeners and to the other musicians that you’re playing with at the time.”
Ethan has also benefited from the education he receives at Denver School of The Arts. The sense of community and camaraderie that permeates throughout the school is an especially unique and appealing aspect of the education for Ethan. For instance, being surrounded by teenagers who share his musical passions and who also play musical instruments enhances the educational experience of the program and strengthens the social bonds between classmates.
“At school, I have made many friends that I can collaborate and play music with and so there’s always something going on,” touts Ethan. “It’s really awesome because I’ve never experienced that at any other school. The students here are really knowledgeable and skilled, and so there’s tons of creativity among all of the people around me.”
The friendships Ethan has fostered also enable him to play in many impressive bands and to perform at several prestigious venues. Ethan is especially proud of the Jazz Workshop Orchestra, the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, and many other bands that he has formed with friends.
“We’ll get gigs occasionally throughout the Denver metro area, play on stage whenever something pops up, and a gig we played at the Governor’s Mansion was incredibly cool.”
College is the next step on Ethan’s agenda. “I’d like to pursue a jazz performance degree at a university,” explained Ethan. “ I can then gig around the scene, maybe go to New York, and it would be fun if I can make it in that cut throat environment. ”
Whatever Ethan Frank choses to do, we have no doubt that he’ll succeed in his endeavors. His intense passion for music and his devoted commitment to the piano has enabled him to embark on his career and accomplish impressive goals at a very early age. The same formula that has been so effective for Ethan on the piano is relevant to all of our crafts. Though we all have unique passions and diverse skills, the concept of hard work leading to great abilities is universal for every craft. Thus, Ethan can serve as a beneficial reminder that hard work, incessant study, and frequent practice can enable all of us to reach exceptional heights of greatness and to achieve remarkable levels of success. That’s what makes him a SuperKid.
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