Cellist Tracell Frederick, 27, attained a BSc in Information Technology in 2016 and a Bachelor of Law's degree (LLB) from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus in 2018.
Last year, however, tested her ability to balance her interests. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she managed to graduate from two institutions, the Hugh Wooding Law School (HWLS) with a Legal Education Certificate (LEC) and the University of T&T (UTT) with an Artist Diploma in Music Performance in 2020.
Frederick balances her passion for the musical scales with the legal scales as she was admitted to practise as an attorney in 2020 and is now the legal assistant to the Arima Mayor's Office.
Speaking to the Sunday Guardian from her Trincity home Frederick said "As a little girl, I always wanted to become an attorney. I had a viewpoint on every topic and the ability to argue for my viewpoint.
"I was feisty and commented on issues being discussed between my parents, Annette Frederick and Garth Guevaria. I had an interest in the other side of the argument and felt it necessary to bring it to life.
"While at SAGHS (St Augustine Girls' High School), specifically in Form Three, a door opened for programming and I fell immediately in love."
She said she could not think of anything else but programming, it was a complete joy.
Frederick said her teachers, Ms Ali and Mrs Bachoo supported her drive and that love grew into a passion in Form Six when she chose Computer Science as one of her CAPE subjects.
When applying to UWI, she was faced with a difficult decision; Law or Information Technology. She was accepted into the Faculty of Law and into the Faculty of Science and Technology.
Frederick's offer of acceptance for Law was one year at St Augustine Campus and the last two years at Cave Hill Campus in Barbados.
She decided to accept the law offer, but at the end of the first year, she did not want to leave Trinidad and applied for an inter-campus transfer but it was denied.
In a quandary at that point, Frederick decided to apply for an inter-faculty transfer and switched her degree to Information Technology.
Frederick started the new degree in September 2013 and graduated with a BSc in Information Technology (Hons) in 2016. That same year, she re-applied to the Faculty of Law and was accepted. She started from Year Two and graduated with LLB Law (Hons) in 2018.
Tracell Frederick with her Artist Diploma in Music Performance in 2020 from UTT.
Frederick said in 2018 she commenced studies for her Legal Education Certificate at the Hugh Wooding Law School.
In the last year of her undergraduate law degree in 2017, she also commenced studies for a diploma in music performance at the University of T&T, NAPA Campus, and both courses concluded in 2020.
It was a character-building experience having to balance two demanding fields of study in the midst of a pandemic, she said.
However, she was able to prove to herself that she can attain anything once she put her mind to it and work diligently towards her goals.
For Frederick, there were moments when she wanted to give up, but she pushed those negative thoughts behind and focused on the goals.
In 2020 she was awarded her LEC, Artist Diploma in Music Performance and admitted to practise law as an attorney in T&T.
According to Frederick, it was challenging but time management and a solid support system was key.
Her professors at UTT worked around her HWLS schedule and they were always encouraging and supportive.
Frederick's mother, Annette Frederick managed her schedule and made sure she was on top of all deadlines, assignments and studies. This way she was able to focus on her law studies, practising music and teaching.
For Frederick, the pandemic made it easier to balance studying, music practice and teaching music.
Frederick said her schedule got lighter and she did not have to leave home, being more flexible to schedule time for each activity.
As it turned out, Frederick enjoyed her time in lockdown at home because she got more time to focus on law and music.
Frederick said when she got tired of studying, she switched to music picking up her cello for the rest of the day.
Tracell Frederick performing with QED in 2019.
When asked if law and music complemented one another, she said they were quite different in terms of language. Frederick said law had its own interpretation and music was in its own world, however they were similar in terms of how one approached an understanding of the topics. Both require analysis, she said. One needed to break it down and build it back together to come to a conclusion.
She said in classical music when someone first begins learning a piece, the person took it apart in terms of the notes, the period, feelings, characteristics of the composer, and technique needed.
A person may decide to work on each one separately and then bring it together to present to their audience the full essence of the piece.
Frederick found it was similar with law as the attorney broke down the facts of the case, looked at the legislation and case law, academic opinions on the issues, then brought it together and presented it to the court.
While Frederick loved hiking she did not do it often enough. She also enjoyed dancing, did lawn tennis in primary and secondary school and was in the junior competition circuit.
Frederick said when she attended primary school, Atwell's Educational Institute, she was introduced to music and she started learning the piano at age nine.
She played three instruments; the cello, violin and piano.
Frederick teaches music at the T&T Youth Philharmonic and Holistic Primary School and she is a member of the National Philharmonic Orchestra.
She said music activities were a form of relaxation and stress reliever.
It has become truly uplifting for Frederick to learn a piece of music and have at least one person moved with emotions by the performance.
Frederick's mentors are founder and music director of TTYP, Kenneth Listhrop, Dr Charles Brunner, Jessel Murray, Simon Browne and Dr Leah Brown.
Her favourite piece is Sonata in G minor by Rachmaninoff and she played with TTYP, NPO, Holistic X, Alternative Quartet, QED, Brian MacFarlane Christmas Joy and many unnamed ensembles for weddings, graduations, award ceremonies, corporate events, concerts and recitals.
Music has taken Frederick to countries around the world such as Curacao, Belize, St Maarten, UK, Wales and Manchester, Italy, and South Korea.