Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Don’t just listen to or play music, study it too

Name: Jacob Aris Cark Stevenson
From: Purchase, NY
Grade: 12
School: SUNY Purchase College
Votes: 0


During my high school career, I volunteered as a music teaching
assistant at Music Showcase in Brandon, Florida for ten hours a week
from 2012 to 2015, where I taught students how to make instruments
from common objects. At Exciting Central Tampa Baptist Church, I
assisted in teaching music theory for two hours a week for four weeks
in the fall of 2014. I was a violin instructor at Burgess School of
Music in Tampa for 20 hours a week during the summer of 2016.

I
received the most satisfaction when I taught kids at Burgess School
of Music how to play the violin. I played my own violin to
demonstrate the sounds they could eventually produce with lots of
practice, commitment, and self-confidence.

However,
my toughest challenge as a volunteer was keeping the kids at Music
Showcase focused on following directions, due to their short
attention spans. Nevertheless, they managed to complete their
assignments.

My
interests and goals as a musician align with being a music volunteer.
I shared the joys and appreciation of music with kids, some of whom
have never heard classical music. As a result, they developed a spark
for music and their interest piqued after realizing the importance of
music in their everyday lives. I also shared my journey as a musician
and how I have achieved success up to this point.

As
is evident by my work as a volunteer, exposure to music at an early
age is essential; not only does it serve as an important tool for
academic acceleration, but it can also have a lifelong impact.

For
example, while in first grade, my school district threatened to
eliminate the music program, because it was considered an
extra-curriculum activity and not an enhancement for academic
achievement. Fortunately, several parents fought for and saved the
program.

Music
has been a part me as long as I’ve been self-aware; s
o not
only is playing the violin a conduit for my academic excellence, it
is also an outlet that allows me to further explore undiscovered
depths of my self-awareness. It has molded and
shaped me into the person I am today.

Forward looking means ensuring music remains a
part of the academic curriculum. My activities are forward looking
via exposing kids to music and how it’s essential in many aspects
of life by having them listen to and perform music.

The change I seek to foster in the world via my
volunteer activities is to make music mandatory, which enhances kids’
academic achievements, so they can acquire success in whatever
endeavor they choose to pursue.

Upon returning in a few years, I would like to
think that my volunteering paid it forward; the kids I introduced to
music would pick up where I left off. Music
is essential to
academic excellence by aiding in the stimulation of the thought
process. Music is also an avenue to steer kids from negative
environments and activities. Finally, music can be a long-term
investment with a high return.


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