The eldest & founding member of Boyz II Men got into music early buy singing in church and playing the trumpet. His gifted ear was discovered in 4th grade during a vocal class at his grade school. The music teacher started to play a song that the class had worked on a week earlier but began to play it in another key. Nathan quickly raised his hand, pointed out that the song was played in another key a week earlier, and began to sing the song in it's original key. That sparked the teachers' interest in Nathan's natural gift of“relative pitch”, so he began to give Nathan private “Sight Singing” lessons as well as vocal and piano lessons.
When Nathan graduated grade school his teacher advised his mother that he should go to a school called Meredith, which was a junior high school for performing arts in South Philadelphia, where his wife was the music instructor. It was a perfect match except for the fact that Nathan had a knack for getting into trouble. Because he was always the smallest member of his classes, the school's bully would tend to pick on him quite often. Always having the attitude of not letting anyone tell him what to do, Nathan would get into fights there every other week.
When it came time for graduation Nathan was then directed to the High School for Creative & Performing Arts in Philadelphia (CAPA), but there were two problems; Nathan really didn't want to go, and he had gotten into so much trouble at his junior high school that his grades were not good enough to qualify for that school. Nathan wanted to go to a local school that had a strong football program. He wanted to ditch music all together and focus on playing pro football, but against his will his mother and teacher pulled some strings and got him and audition. He sang two classical songs in two different languages (Italian & German) and was accepted almost instantly.
Because the school was too small to have a football team, Nathan joined the basketball team as well as the tennis team, but none of them gave him the fulfillment he was looking for. One day in the back of his world history class he was bored and began to sing aloud in the classroom. The teacher asked him to quiet down or he would give him a pink slip, but in typical fashion Nathan got louder. So another classmate named Marc Nelson joined in with him. Needless to say they were both kicked out of class and began to converse about their music interests. They were both big New Edition fans so they hit it off right away. Nathan then posed the idea of starting a vocal group similar to New Edition and the beginning of Boyz II Men took shape.