Growing up in a musical family I was immersed in music right away. I took Suzuki piano lessons through most of elementary and decided in 4th grade piano wasn't my thing. I had a choice - pick up another instrument or do a sport. It just so happened that around that time I found my mom's flute from when she was in high school and a mom at the school sent a flyer out about flute lessons. I took to it immediately and it instantly became an important part of my life. My dad once told me that he was amazed that after fighting to get me to practice piano for years I practiced my flute on my own with very little encouragement from him. Guess you can say that I found my soul instrument! I had met Dameun, Jaette, Ellie, and Tamir doing a fringe festival show of Dameun's and we kept in touch. The next year when I was finishing up my senior year at the University of Minnesota I was contacted by Dameun to see if I was interested in getting in on a community nonprofit music school in North Minneapolis and I immediately said, "Yes I would love to be involved! But after I finish my senior recital." Next thing I know it's a few months later and we're doing our first Open House at Weber Park! It is hard to pick just one memory as a "favorite" but one memory that continues to deeply resonate in me is when I first started teaching a 7 year old student. Her mom told me that her daughter would always identify the flute on the radio or tv and had been wanting to learn how to play it so as soon as they heard about Hopewell they registered. At their next lesson the student was saying good bye to me and she paused, looked me straight in the eye and said "Thank you so much for making my dream come true!" It was all I could do to keep from crying - just thinking about it makes me tear up still! Music education is so important because it offers a way to express yourself, develops life skills, and is a catalyst for lifelong friendships. It also is a huge confidence builder! Going out and performing in front of people is fun but also can be stressful and cause some anxiety. I have seen students go from refusing to play in front of people to being 100% confidence in themselves and performing not being a big deal. To see them perform, and do so with such confidence, leaves me in awe.Beyond music education Hopewell is a a safe haven. Whether it is for those who do not have a stable home environment, who are going through the tough teenager years, or adults who are taking a leap and are learning an instrument for the first time Hopewell is here to nurture and help you grow both as a musician and as a human being.The most important thing the community can do is to get involved! By giving a monetary donation, instruments, time (there's a HEAT meeting every 2nd Thursday of the month if you want to know how you can help!) we can continue to provide accessible, affordable music education to the Northside community. And remember - you can even donate while shopping if you make Hopewell your designated charity on AmazonSmile!I work at Hopewell because the community is unlike anywhere else I've ever worked. I'm inspired every day by students, parents, colleagues, and community members. I have the honor of doing the majority of student orientations and getting students in contact with their teachers. The conversations I have with these families can be very powerful and it motivates me to continue working hard so that I can do my part in helping these families achieve their dream of being able to provide a music education for their children.
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