I love working with teenagers, but sometimes it can be challenging to find ways to get them really excited about learning music. I recently started teaching an adult who plays beautifully but struggled to read music and wanted to improve his playing. We've had a great time together and I soon discovered that he was in charge of all the lighting and sound for all of the shows that come through Foxwoods Casino (it's about 15 minutes from my house). I'm not a casino fan, but having this casino and Mohegan Sun (about 30 minutes from my house) nearby, has brought in a lot of huge musical talent to the area. In addition to having the casinos, they also bring in big name artists to perform concerts. I've had really talented musicians just moments away!
Because this student was in charge of all the lighting and sound, I asked him if he would be willing to show me and some of my high school students "how it all happens". He was thrilled to do it, so this weekend we are planning to go over to MGM to see the set up, walk the catwalk and learn how all of it happens! (Now, lest you think I am taking kids to a casino, please note that it is a separate area from the actual casino! They will be nowhere near the gambling!) In addition, he has invited us to come back and see it all happen during a concert.
We all know that lighting and sound play a very important role in concerts, so this is an amazing opportunity for them to get a backstage look at how it all works. I'm hoping they will not only appreciate these aspects more, but I also hope it opens their eyes to other possibilities in music.