Youth Music Exchange: MusicHouse x UpBeat
As part of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Initiative for the Year of Chicago Music, CAPE is curating the Youth Music Exchange project! On Monday, May 7th, 2021, UpBeat Music and Arts and MusicHouse students met to share their musical progress, their inspirations, and their challenges. The event consisted of small breakout sessions to engage their students in a deeper dialogue about music and their experiences. The May Youth Music Exchange event was led by Allison Trumbo from MusicHouse, Katherine Little, and Scott Barbeau both from UpBeat.
MusicHouse & UpBeat Music and Arts
MusicHouse is a family-owned and operated performing-arts school, dedicated to serving families with intentional and inclusive programming. UpBeat Music and Arts was founded in 2013 to help students from all backgrounds connect with music, the arts, and each other. Both are in neighborhoods that serve students in the Chicagoland area.
At the event, the UpBeat students were all high school students, and the MusicHouse students were mostly elementary to middle school students. This age diversity allowed for reflective and inspiring conversations amongst the group. The event proceeded with students from both groups sharing out a piece of music that they were working on. After that, the students continued in breakout groups, with students from both groups in these sessions. One student from UpBeat played the piano, and one student from MusicHouse played the violin.
What our students learned from the Youth Student Exchange
The organizers came up with three questions that the students discussed: What do you love about music, What are your biggest challenges, and What are your thoughts on practicing?
Students commented their favorite part about music:
“We can create music individually, and also come together to create music,” and that, “[music] is how you can tell a story and express your emotions.” One student commented on a challenge with playing music during the COVID-19 pandemic: “Music allows me to meet new people. With the coronavirus, it’s harder to find people to play with. I try not to just isolate myself in my room and play by myself. I try to find new ways to play music with people like this [event].”
As the YME event concluded, two students shared their practicing routines and advice. The first student mentioned they are on their way to complete the MusicHouse challenge of practicing for 180 days straight! And a second student shared the reason they love practicing:
“I love music, so I put in the work to challenge myself. You can add to what you can do. You get better, and you can do more interesting things. And then you get excited, and that’s all you want to do! You start hearing new things and hearing new sounds. You go down rabbit holes, and you keep getting better.”
Thank you to UpBeat and MusicHouse for creating this space for students to share their enthusiasm for music with each other!
Comment below to let us know your favorite part of our Youth Music Exchange program!