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GradStory: Music law singing in student’s ears

Music law may be ideal career field for Compton High School senior Matthew Anderson COMPTON — Music education and law studies are two very different disciplines, but for Compton High School senior Matthew Anderson, a career

Music law may be ideal career field for Compton High School senior Matthew Anderson

COMPTON — Music education and law studies are two very different disciplines, but for Compton High School senior Matthew Anderson, a career in music law may be in perfect harmony for his future.

He will begin studying music and law this fall at Taft Community College in Taft, Calif.

“I want to teach music someday and I also want to go to law school so I can become a lawyer or a judge,” Anderson said.

Anderson conceded that his first love and passion is music.

“Music is everywhere. It’s a foundational thing. It’s my livelihood. I live through music. It helps me get through my day but also through the tough times and my happy times,” he said.

Anderson said he fell in love with music very young playing the drums. Since then he’s added the organ and alto saxophone to his repertoire.

Music has served as a source of comfort and strength for Anderson. In his freshman year of high school, his mother, Darnice, was diagnosed with breast cancer, which took a toll on him.

“She used to be a preschool teacher but when she got sick she had to retire. That was really hard for me. I was distracted in my studies because she was ill through most of my freshman year,” he said.

“That’s why it was a good thing for me to join the school band. It introduced me to a lot of friends who reached out to me. Eventually, I became the leader of the band, so I can say music helped me become a good student and a better person.”

Anderson’s mom has fully recovered and remains his biggest inspiration.

“My mom is a college student now. She’s earning an AA degree in sociology, and wants to be a drug and alcohol counselor,” he said. “She still motivates me to go to school, get good grades, and go to college.”

Anderson’s teachers also have had a big influence in his life.

“[My] English teacher, Mr. Horne,  has a big impact. He’s been a mentor to me,” Andrson said.”My music teacher and marching band instructor Anthony Ransfer is always pushing me to be a more proficient in my musicianship, sight-reading, and with my marching.”

Music is his passion, but Anderson also has an interest in the legal profession, stemming from a field trip to the Compton Superior Court. A member of Compton High’s law club, he said he wants to make a difference in his community through the justice system.

“I was at the Compton courthouse and I specifically remember talking to a judge. He told me [there are] not a lot of African-American students interested in law. We have to increase our knowledge there. A lot of times paralegals can help someone who [do not] know the criminal justice system,” Anderson explained.

“That’s important to know if you’re accused of a crime, especially if you didn’t commit it, and you don’t know how to post bail. If more people were involved with the criminal justice system our jails wouldn’t be so packed; people would be out there in [the] workforce or getting an education.”

Anderson also said he hopes to represent Compton well at Taft College, changing people’s perceptions about Compton.

“I’ve lived here since I was in sixth grade and I wasn’t prone to violence or gangs. Being a student in Compton gave me opportunities other districts don’t have,” he said. “I met teachers who really teach you and develop you as a person so you’re prepared for your life as an adult. This district has people who really want to help you, who really want to see you succeed, and they thrive [on] doing that.”

 

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.

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