AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Russell Noah has been playing the piano since the 8th grade.
"To hear yourself is honestly great, and just to say I did that with my own hands or that came from me, it's just nice," Russell said. "I've always wanted to learn to play an instrument. I've always liked music, and I had a piano in my house, but I could never play it myself."
Now a graduating senior at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, he's gotten a lot better at his craft.
"Some people, I'm sure, have a natural talent to pick up pieces easily and I don't really have that so I have to constantly work at it and constantly keep going until I have it perfectly," Russell said.
That dedication is what makes him stand out.
"He's not the best one here but he works harder than all of them," said Paul Hennessy, Noah's piano teacher. "He's constantly working and he's really eager to try harder pieces."
But it's not just the piano he works hard at. Noah is one of 13 STAR - or Student Teacher Achievement Recognition - students recently honored for having the highest score on any single test date of the SAT and being in the top 10 percentile of their class.
"It's a big honor for me because I know there's a lot of talented students, not only at Davidson but also at Richmond County," Russell said.
Russell was chosen to represent the county to compete for regional and statewide STAR honors and he chose Hennessy as the teacher who's impacted him the most.
"He's really fun, and since he doesn't have an orthodox piano classroom, I feel he does a really great job of teaching every student at their level."
Russell plans to attend Vanderbilt University in the fall and study math or engineering.