I joined COLA Highbury Grove already playing the clarinet but through the MiSST program I excelled in music and in general at school. I was given the opportunity to play the cello which forced me out of my comfort zone and I joined the school senior orchestra in year 7. Everyone was older and better than me which made me practise hard and allowed me to meet new people. What really changed me as a musician was joining the Saturday school in year 8. The music was almost impossible and it felt like everyone was 100 times better than me. The constant performing and the fact that none of my friends attended boosted my confidence in a way that nothing else ever could have. Music improved my team work skills and multi-tasking ability which made me better in core subjects. It also gave me the motivation to focus and work hard because I knew that if I kept up my school work I would be allowed to continue music. Another vital thing that music did for me was that it made me feel like I belonged. I struggled, particularly in the lower school with being dyslexic. I felt stupid and behind everyone else but being a part of the music at HGS let me do something I loved and that I felt kind of good at. Being part of MiSST for the last 6 years has been amazing and is the reason I’ve done so well academically.