The company I work for has a non-profit dedicated to music education. Each year, they put on a 2 week camp for high school kids, giving them real life experience in the music industry. It’s free to the students selected, they just have to pay for transportation to and from the city it’s held in. Only 32 students are selected each year, and last year I helped in that selection process, going over a handful of applications and helping to decide which kids are passionate enough about music and the music industry to be selected for the camp.
I’m volunteering again this year, and have been through about half of my applicants. The range is striking, from the average kid who likes music and wants to be on American Idol, to the truly amazing 16 year old who taught himself the drums, bass, piano, and accordion, who has been composing music since he was 8, all while making straight A’s, operating the sound board for the church choir, taking piano lessons, working part time, volunteering at the local soup kitchen, and tutoring under-privileged kids.
Just when I think the youth of the country are lazy, incompetent, coddled children incapable of writing in anything other than text shorthand (texthand?), these kids show up to surprise me. And they give me hope for the future.
I wish I could tell you more about the non-profit and the camp, but then you would know where I work, and I’m still trying to keep a little bit of anonymity here. Of course, anyone with half a brain could probably do a keyword search and figure it out, but still…