City Music Spotlight: Justin Riggins


Grade: 10th

Network Site: Berklee City Music, Boston, Massachusetts

Hometown: Dorchester, Massachusetts

Instrument: Drums

Number of Years Playing: 5

Favorite Musician: Ronald Bruner

First Song Learned: “C Jam Blues” by Duke Ellington

Favorite Record: Giant Steps by John Coltrane

What does Berklee City Music mean to you?

Berklee City Music to me is such a blessing. This program is one of the best in the nation because of the resources we have and are provided with. This program allows us as musicians to live out our dreams at a young age and also realize if we want to pursue music as a career. Without this program many individuals would not get a chance to get their feet wet or have an opportunity of the lifetime.

What is it about music that makes you want to be a musician and potentially pursue it as a career?

Music is a vast blanket that covers many different aspects of life. Music is therapeutic, fun, engaging, and helpful. Music provides so many paths because it is associated with everything we do, from the sounds we make to the sounds we hear. Music is always around us, and to be able to make yourself and others feel good makes being a musician a great career choice.

Who had the greatest influence on your life and why?

My mother has the greatest influence on my life because she is my rock. She has always supported me and stood by my side. She has cared for me like no one else has and always encourages me to pursue anything I want. She is also my pride and joy and I would be nothing without her.

Outside of music what are your interests and hobbies? 

Outside of music I enjoy spending time with family and friends. As I grow older each year I value the relationships that I have with people more and more. I came to this realization when one of my close friends passed away. I understood that life was a privilege and we must make the most out of our time on this earth. To wake up every day is wonderful but at times we can take our lives for granted because we are so caught up in things. We should take a step back and realize what we have.

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