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This philosophy pushes Otago Boys High School pupil Juno Pyun (17) to grab every opportunity with both hands - particularly when it comes to music.
He already plays clarinet with the Southern Sinfonia, he is co-lead violinist with the New Zealand Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra and the Dunedin Youth Orchestra, he plays both violin and clarinet in the Cantores Choir Orchestra, and clarinet and saxophone with the Dunedin and Taieri Operatic Society's orchestras.
And to top it off, he plans to learn piano as well.
‘‘I'm a musical jack of all trades. If I'm familiar with broader spectrums of music, it means that I can get more enjoyment out of music as a whole.''
Juno has a long list of successes in music competitions, including winning several classes in the Dunedin Performing Arts Society Competitions in 2008 and winning the Otago Regional Chamber Music Competition with Trio Martinu this year.
Juno emigrated to New Zealand from Korea in 2002.
For many people, leaving old friends, learning English and settling into life in a foreign country is a major challenge.
But not for Juno.
‘‘Every day is a challenge. You have goals, and realising them doesn't happen overnight. You have to keep motivating yourself, keep working hard and not be distracted or lazy. Those are the challenges I face every day.''
Juno sets himself high goals, especially in the classroom.
He has achieved NCEA levels 1 and 2 with excellence endorsements and hopes to study health sciences and music at the University of Otago next year.
Achievements: NCEA levels 1 and 2 endorsed with excellence; Otago Regional Chamber Music Competition winner (2009), highly commended (2007 and 2008); New Zealand Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra coleader (2008-09); OBHS choir, orchestra, symphonic band and jazz band member (2005-09).
Role model: ‘‘My mum. I really respect her because she works really hard in her restaurant, but she always has lots of time and love for us.''
Hopes for the future: To study health sciences and music at the University of Otago.