Haden Te Haara (Ngāpuhi) has been accepted into the Berklee College of Music in Boston to pursue a Bachelor of Music. The independent college has produced the likes of Steven Tyler, Quincy Jones, and John Mayer.
Te Haara says, “This is a huge dream for me. I didn't actually think when I auditioned that I would actually get in. I just wanted to see sort of what I have to get to be able to get there.”
A musical pathway was entrenched in him from a young age.
“When I was young my dad got me into playing guitar. He'd always play to me when I was just a little baby, kind of thing growing up and he would always play the old tunes to me like row row row your boat and stuff like that and I always thought he was a guitar player so I wanted to be like Dad. So when I turned 5 I went and bought my first guitar with dad.”
He kept rowing and eventually managed to get through his audition to Berklee College with flying colours.
“I had 15 minutes to prepare and then they took me into the main audition room and I played my practise piece which was Duke Ellingtons ‘It Don't Mean a Thing’. I got through that ok. I made a few mistakes but who doesn't I guess and then they threw a bunch of stuff at me to see if I could do what they asked.”
Music teacher Nicholas Baldwin says, “Haden's got a fantastic ear and he learns songs by listening to them and he's just got this amazing ability to be able to pick up the melody and harmony and I think that's probably one of the things that would have got him to Berklee in the first place and it's an amazing talent to have.”
Te Haara received a rare scholarship of $10,000 from the college but still needs to raise $67K US for his tuition. Despite this, he has one primary goal.
“My goal is just to get as good as I can get and try to make a living off of doing what I love, playing music.”
Te Haara is scheduled to head over to Boston in the new year.