Musical freshman makes waves

William Fine, Feature Writer

Photo Courtesy of district 65.

Many students play two instruments, but Howard Godfrey plays 10, and he is only a freshman.

“Howard is mostly self-taught,” band director Matthew Bufis says. “He really just has a knack for this, he has a great ear and he’s a good musician. He applies those skills to learning a different set of fingerings or a different mouth position.”

Godfrey first became interested in music by watching Spongebob Squarepants as a young child, when he watched Squidward Tentacles play his clarinet. His interest for music really began when he went to a music camp over the summer and was exposed to a variety of different instruments.

However, Godfrey does not specialize in every single instrument he plays. There simply isn’t enough time to master them all. He is currently focusing on tenor sax and clarinet. This is important because most universities focus on a musician’s talent in one instrument, rather than all of them simultaneously.

“I think that if he [Howard] can do it, good for him,” freshman violinist Heewon Kim says. “But if a musician is trying to succeed, focusing on one instrument is important.”

Many musicians are also looked at for their academic successes, as some studies show that playing instruments can improve your intelligence.

According to the American Psychological Association, music lessons at a young age can boost a child’s IQ, based on a study conducted by the University of Toronto. Their results showed that there is a positive association between learning music at a young age and performing well in basic academic categories.

Music has many benefits, and senior AJ Badr, who plays more than 10 instruments would agree.

“I can visualise music better from many different perspectives,” Badr says. “It’s definitely helped me develop my ear for a lot of things.”

Badr also began his love for instruments at a very young age. He first began learning instruments on his own when he was frustrated with dyslexia.

“I was so frustrated over not being able to read music in our beginner music class at school,” Badr says. “I just spent all my time listening to music I liked and taught myself how to play by ear for each instrument.”

He taught himself three instruments before he started taking lessons.

His time at ETHS is now ending, and he looks forward to starting his career as a music educator for beginning musicians.

Although a musician’s life might seem difficult sometimes, Badr gives great advice for young musicians.

“No matter what instrument(s) you want to play, make sure to stop and smell the flowers,” Badr says. “High school flies by, and band in high school has been the best part of high school for me. Don’t miss a thing.”

As it pertains to Howard Godfrey, no matter what may lie ahead for him, we are all excited to see what he will do.

One man band


Years played
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
     A few months