It hurt making this under three minutes. Seriously. Also, the “call to action” thing is semi-awkward, but Johanna said to include one in her e-mail. So there you are, folks.
Hi, I’m Anna. I’m fifteen and I’m a harpist. Nash and I make up the tiniest CDAL team – it’s just the two of us – but what we lack in size we make up for in enthusiasm! We’ve been friends for ages and we’re really passionate about our project this year. Nash and I are partnered with MusiConnects, a nonprofit organization whose mission is social change through chamber music – they’re dedicated to providing completely accessible and inclusive programs, and to building communities through music. They’re centered at the James Chittick Elementary School in Mattapan, Boston. Mattapan has one of the lowest per capita income rates in the greater Boston area, and Chittick has no music program other than what MusiConnects volunteers. MusiConnects works with around 30 students there, first through fourth graders, providing string instruments and instruction through private lessons and chamber ensembles.
Nash and I have been working with MusiConnects in a lot of areas. We’ve been assisting and teaching, we’ve done publicity, and we recently hosted a benefit concert. One of the first ideas that we brainstormed as a team was to extend the reach of music within the school. MusiConnects is only able to serve a certain number of Chittick students while maintaining its quality, but the waiting list is long, and it’s heartbreaking to have kids come up to us and ask why they can’t have music lessons too. Since the beginning of this school year, we’ve been working toward that goal by planning and executing a series of introduction to music lessons for two classes of kindergarten students who are not able to be enrolled in MusiConnects. We’re also doing a series of additional lessons for MusiConnects students, which will culminate in our final project – a fieldtrip for all of the MusiConnects students, to see the From the Top taping in Jordan Hall on February 4th.
MusiConnects is about so much more than elementary school kids learning to play string instruments. Within the organization, there exists a community of students and teachers, friends and role models to look to for support and encouragement. They’re learning from us, but we’re learning so much from them in return! And working with these kids, we’ve seen how unfamiliar and how amazing it is for them to have a way to express themselves, and a place where those expressions are valued. They can have that because of a few people who believe that everyone has a right to music. That’s the idea that started MusiConnects, that fueled our original CDAL project plan, and that inspires Nash and me as we continue every day. If you believe that too, come learn more – about MusiConnects, and music education, and the experiences we’ve had. Talk to us. Let yourself be connected. I promise it will change everything.