One of the best things that we can do as artists and performers is to inspire the next generation. As we all like to tell the kids and adults in our workshops, “music and art can be your ticket around the world”. Learning, playing and sharing music and art allows the artist to meet people from all over the world. Engaging in music (and indeed all forms of art) helps develop the sensitivity to feel and understand emotions on a deep level, therefore hopefully making all of us more curious about and tolerant of other people’s traditions. It gives people the opportunity to reach inside and explore and express their own feelings as well.
The first thing that we do as a group is to go in and play a couple of songs –that gets their attention. We want them to be excited and when that happens they become instantly engaged and curious about what we do. Then we take questions on anything about the music and the business of making music. We like to let them know the amount of time and dedication that goes into mastering an instrument and the rewards that come with that. It’s also important for them to know that if they are going to make a living they have to also know the business end as well (particularly true of our workshops with teenagers and adults).
When someone approaches us and says that they have gone on to play music or are going to college to study music, it’s a good day!