Giving Young People a Voice: El Sistema USA

by Amy Nathan “Music is my life. I will never stop playing cello,” says Vanessa Johnson, one of the young people whose early experiences with music are featured in the book The Music Parents’ Survival Guide, published in 2014. Since more than five years have passed since this book went to press, we are checking in … Continue reading Giving Young People a Voice: El Sistema USA

Coming Together Side by Side: Avocational Musicians Performing with Professionals

Nagging feelings of self-doubt in their musical skills blocked many for a while from doing what they have since come to love—make music in their spare time. Finding supportive ensembles, teachers, and Meetup groups helped many take the plunge. Now, professional orchestras have joined the avocational-musician support team, spurred by the success of the Baltimore Symphony’s programs for non-pros that began in 2010.

You’re Never Too Old, Busy or Rusty to Make Music

A lack of confidence in their musical abilities may hold back some would-be music-makers, caused by feelings left over from less-than-positive childhood musical experiences. Luckily, it is possible to reboot as an adult by trying a different instrument or type of music, finding beginner-friendly ensembles, joining music support groups, forging more collegial teacher-student relationships and realizing that recitals are optional for adults.