Rhythm and sound: Sophomore Nate Taylor overcomes the odds and follows his dreams


Photo by Butch Robbins

Sophomore Nate Taylor is a drummer for the NHS Band and Jazz Band. When he’s not playing for the band, Taylor is writing and recording his own music.

Hope Lynas and Jenna Schweikert

Mozart started composing at age 5. Stevie Wonder signed his first record deal at 11. Michael Jackson started his solo career at 13. Billie Eilish went viral at 13 with her song “Ocean Eyes”. The music industry, especially today, requires talent and dedication. These young musicians proved to the world that your age cannot define your success, that nothing can stand in the way of your dreams. 

At just 15, sophomore Nate Taylor is following his dreams of becoming a recording artist. He’s already writing and producing his own music and he plays four different instruments. 

“I like to record and write my own hip hop and rap music,” said Taylor. “In addition to making my own hip hop and rap music, I also play the drums, saxophone, clarinet and ukulele.”             

Taylor’s instrumental experience goes above and beyond, but his true love for music comes in the form of creating his own. 

“I like to write and record my own music more than playing instruments. But I would say that out of all the instruments I’ve played drums would be my favorite,” said Taylor.

He is inspired most by the music style of The Kid Laroi, an Australian rapper, singer, and songwriter. Taylor’s love of music came from the emotion and the mood that different music genres can bring. Taylor also comes from a musical family, as his dad is a worship leader at their church. 

“I got into [music] because I always had a passion for it,” said Taylor. “I always grew up listening to rock, but now I listen to mostly hip hop and rap. I would like to be a hip hop and rap artist,” said Taylor. His goal is to make it in the highly competitive music industry.

But there’s one thing that makes Taylor’s music journey a little different: he can’t see. From preschool to 8th grade, Taylor attended the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI). 

“It was a pretty big transition to Noblesville in 9th grade. ISBVI only had about 150 kids in the whole school, whereas NHS has about 3000 or more,” said Taylor.

Despite the big difference in class size from ISBVI, Taylor had a rather smooth transition according to Bethany Robinson, Assistant Band Director and Jazz Band Director at NHS.

“Nate did a great job of joining NHS from another school district, and fitting right in,” said Robinson.     

 Taylor’s disability is something that hasn’t stood in his way of pursuing his dreams as a musician. He’s proved that you can do anything you set your mind to, no matter what your circumstance may be.

“I taught myself how to play the drums, and you don’t have to read that much music, you can just learn it all by ear or listening,” said Taylor. “I would say sometimes not being able to see can be kind of hard, but it helps to have an ear for music.”

Playing the drums is the glue for any band; without a drummer to keep in time, the band could fall apart. Taylor’s Jazz Band instructor, Robinson, appreciates the hard work and effort he puts into his music. 

“He’s really kind, perseveres, and does a great job of keeping the beat on drums for the band,” said Robinson.

Taylor’s drive and ambition are big enough as is, but his role models have also played a key role in impacting Taylor’s aspiring character. 

“I would say my dad and my grandpa [are role models in my life], because they have always been there for me,” said Taylor. 

Taylor has overcome the odds and worked hard to grow his skills and develop his own music creations. His time is spent pursuing his dreams. His time truly lies with music.

“[With all the time in the world I’d spend it] probably making music,” said Taylor.