By Kate MacKenzie
One of the best perks of being a musician is having the unique ability to put smiles on the face of others. Even someone who is just beginning their musical journey, there are plenty of people who would love to hear them play. Giving back to the community, even in small ways, is important. How can you use music to spread peace and joy? I have some ideas for you!
Music programs in public schools are notoriously under-funded and under-appreciated. Many of our AWSOM teachers regularly visit local schools to work with students in a variety of ways. But you don’t need to be a professional musician to be of help to your music program at school! Parents and students can contribute by helping with concerts, field trips, and fund raisers. Older students can volunteer to work with younger students, and parents can contribute to instrument maintenance and supply funds (most school instruments are chronically neglected and in disrepair simply because there is no budget for this). Even offering to tune-up one instrument or buy one box of reeds can go a long way and help many students get a better music education.
With the holiday season approaching, we should also volunteer our skills to spread happiness! It might be easier than you think to find a welcoming audience. Start with friends and family. A Skype call to faraway relatives always helps to make people feel more connected. Hospitals, hospice, and retirement homes are also usually very excited to welcome performers. The opportunities to fill this world with music are endless! The question is, what are you going to give back your community? Happy volunteering!