I first learned of Hopewell Music when I met one of the Founders in 2013 while I was serving as an Americorps VISTA. I learned that year how much I loved working in the nonprofit sector and I was beginning to think of ways I could combine my love of nonprofit work and music. Becoming a member of the Hopewell Music team was truly serendipitous.
It is so difficult to choose my favorite memory from Hopewell. In my position, I get to hear so many inspiring stories everyday. However, recently I had a voice student who I had been working with for about 4 months. As an adult they were coming to lessons to try and find their voice, and recently they told me "You just have no idea what you have done for me, I no longer need to look outside myself or try to imitate someone else, I know what I have is enough and it just feels so good." I can't tell you what hearing that meant to me. As music teachers, we know we have the ability to change lives, but it is an incredible moment when we're actually told what that means to our students.
I would not be who I am today without music education. While going through some difficult times growing up, I would often go to the piano to just play and sing whatever feelings came out. While I am sure these were no masterpieces, this ability to express myself even when I didn't fully understand my emotions, was an incredible gift.Music education also taught me interpretation, expression, goal setting and above all - confidence. Music became my refuge, my community and my catalyst.
What I love about Hopewell Music is that we pay attention to the benefits music education gives our students beyond note learning and technique development. The community that we have developed over the last four years is remarkable. We are conscious of how our programming builds students confidence, develops their skills and self expression and enfolds them into a larger community they are eager to give back to.
The most important thing the greater community can do to help support Hopewell is to talk about Hopewell. Tell their friends about this inspiring organization and the incredible work its students and teachers are doing in the community of North Minneapolis. Come to our events and concerts and finally, give what they can. Hopewell Music needs the community to join in the fight for accessible music education for ALL
I work at Hopewell Music because of the community. On particularly bad days, or when I feel like we're just never going to bring in that 70% of our operating budget we need in donations...I remember the impact we are having on the 220+ current students and their families and the hundreds more we could potentially reach. I remember that my own music education helped ignite in me the persistence and perseverance I've needed in life. Immediately, I am reminded that there simply is no question "Why Hopewell?"