The Next John Coltrane?


Toan Nguyen, Class of 2012

Toan went to Oakland School of the Arts for high school and studied piano in the School of Instrumental Music. He attended the Berklee College of Music 2016-17 where he studied jazz piano and majored in music. His future plans include a mentorship with Kei Akagi, a jazz pianist who played and toured with Miles Davis.

“An arts education at BPC has added so much value to my life that there are not enough words to describe it. I feel that I am a complete person because of the arts education I received. For me personally, I was able to excel in the arts, particularly music. It has opened doors for me in terms of college study choice. The arts has added spice in my life and has helped me to develop a more nurturing and compassionate lens and outlook to life in general. I may not continue to pursue music professionally, but music will always be a big part in my life. I will always have a deep understanding and appreciation for the arts.

Visual arts, drama and music are essential as they’re that allow kids to express themselves. Kids today face many unwanted social pressures. They are constantly exposed to social media and may have negative consequences. The arts give them an outlet to channel their talent and energy to something more creative and positive. Kids who share the same talents in the classroom tend to get along with each other better. They appreciate one another, collaborate, and learn to work with each other. When I was performing in the band, we not only had to work together, but we had fun practicing hard before a big performance and as well as just jamming together. This spirit of collaboration helps kids develop into respectful human beings.”

Toan Nguyen-cmyk