Daniel McDonough is Hitting all the Right Notes

Anna O'Connell, Contributing Writer

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SHS freshman Daniel McDonough has only played the piano for three years, yet he has already started to learn pieces that would take the average person a decade of music lessons. McDonough fondly remembers his first piano lesson, given to him by his grandfather on Christmas Eve of 2013. At the time he was playing trumpet in his elementary school band and was not enjoying it; however, he knew that he loved music and did not want to give it up entirely.

On a typical afternoon, Daniel can be found practicing on his family’s 40-year-old Voss and Sons upright piano. He tends to play pieces written in the Romantic era, but he has started to learn pieces by Bach, which are written in a Baroque style. Although McDonough grew up with his parent’s classic rock, he prefers classical music now, as he likes the variation in the music and how it can portray many different tones.

McDonough has several other interests beyond music: he enjoys playing video games, reading science fiction novels, and programming his own calculator. According to McDonough, playing the piano is “relaxing and interesting,” and it helps him concentrate on his homework.  

Once a week, Daniel takes piano lessons at the South Shore Conservatory, but other than that he is mainly self-taught. McDonough said he takes full advantage of what the high school offers for music classes, as he has already taken Music Tech and Piano Lab. He really enjoyed both and got the opportunity to play on the piano in Mr. Richter’s room almost every day.   

McDonough says playing the piano is just a hobby, and one day he hopes to work in a math or science-related job. He sees a connection between these two things, as he thinks people who enjoy math and science also understand music theory. McDonough hopes to continue playing and expanding his repertoire to include the Moonlight and Appassionata Sonatas in the next few years. McDonough said, “It is really fulfilling when all of my hard work comes to fruition and people get to enjoy the music.”

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Daniel McDonough is Hitting all the Right Notes