Sunday, June 17, 2007

What do I care about youth orchestras?

I sat down with a retired business man last week to get his perspective on the creation of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestras. He's a former CEO and very savvy. He analyzed our project like a chess game, looking several moves ahead. This was very helpful, as I'm not very good at games.

One of the questions he asked me was why I would be interested in getting involved in a youth orchestra program when my children were not going to benefit, motivation being a key to success.

I participated in youth orchestras and my daughter has played in them for years. I've watched the members of each orchestra with awe. The energy and dedication the students put into the music is evident in their intensity during a performance. Youth orchestras provide a unique environment--different from sports, marching band, scouting--where these young people learn a new kind of discipline and teamwork--and to appreciate music from the inside out. The opportunity to play in a youth orchestra should be available to every interested student. I'll do what I can to make that happen.

So, for me, it comes down to 'Right Livelihood'. Or, as Richard Bach said: 'It's like, at the end, there's this surprise quiz: Am I proud of me? I gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth what I paid?' I know what I want my answers to be.

The last two months have been difficult, painful and scary. They have also been exciting, challenging, and, at times, quite fun. I have found new strengths in myself and new friends. And old friendships have been tested. Some have held true, some, sadly, have not. I believe I have done the right thing. Somebody needed to do something. So I did. I expect there will be consequences. I'll deal.

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