I've been thinking a lot this week about why I ran so hard with my idea for a Kids Summer Music Camp. As a teacher, I am constantly having to innovate to try to appeal to a broader audience and hopefully gain students for our studio so we can earn a living. Not all of the ideas I have are great ones. Not all of the ideas I have immediate implementation. But I felt like the summer camp was a great idea and could be immediately implemented. And as I've thought more about what exactly excited me about the idea, I've actually become even more passionate about the idea and what it means to me. And I want to share those thoughts with you.
I had an excellent opportunity to grow up performing with Sunshine Generation. I know this entity still exists. But I can guarantee there aren't teachers as great as the ones I had. They loved music and performing and working with young kids. They were excited to see us and excited to teach us and excited to see our love of music grow. It was an environment of encouragement. It wasn't about showing who was the best. It wasn't about making the next American Idol star. It was about nurturing a love of music, it was about helping kids find a way to express themselves. It was about allowing the kids to figure out what they loved about music and performing. It was about making friends through music and supporting each other.
I don't have children. But have nieces and a nephew that I feel every bit as protective of as if they were mine. Both my sister and sister in law have expressed concerns about how difficult it is to find performing arts lessons that aren't competitive classes. They both want to foster a love of music and dance and performing in their kids. They want to give their children an opportunity to have a safe environment to learn new things without feeling like the only measure of success is being "the best". I want these things for them as well. I want every child to have this opportunity.
This is really is a passion for me. And even if this summer doesn't have as high of enrollment as I hope it will, I'm going to keep trying. I'm going to keep finding ways to give these opportunities to every child I can. I hope to grow this program into a year round program.
I know it can be scary to send your kid to a program when you haven't met the teacher. Maybe this can give you little more insight into who I am as a musician, a teacher and a person.
Please leave comments if you have any questions about me or my teaching experience and philosophy! I'm happy to share!