Will Richardson shares his experience about being a Youth Ambassador at Casa Musica – an evening of music and meaning
“musical studies take left-brain thinking and move it to the right, creative brain, literally opening up new horizons, horizons that deserve to be shared in schools.”
On Wednesday October 22, I had the privilege of being a youth ambassador at the Casa Musica event for music education at Casa Loma House and Museum in Toronto, run by The Coalition for Music Education in Canada. Featuring performances by prominent Canadian musicians, a speech by retired Canadian astronaut and air force test pilot Commander Chris Hadfield and a thoughtfully assembled silent auction, attendees, myself included, were captivated and inspired by an appreciation for music and a strong belief in its advocacy in schools.
As a youth goodwill ambassador, I was tasked with meeting and talking with guests, and sharing my passion for music with them. Over the course of the evening, I met some fascinating people from across Canada, including retired judges, active musicians, music teachers, medical doctors and civil servants. As you can see, their occupations and interests ranged widely. But they all shared a common passion for a wide variety of music and a drive to ensure that students across Canada, from a young age, have access to the instruments and sounds that can give joy and ultimately transform lives.
Being afforded the opportunity to interact with these people, as well as being able to promote the cause of music education, made for a very meaningful evening on my part. I learned about the connections that music can create between people and about the ability that music has to convey feelings and enrich the mind in ways that I didn’t know existed. I shared my own musical experience as a classical and jazz pianist with many, and stressed the sense of gratitude that I feel to the supplementary music program that volunteers at my school facilitated, which enabled me to meet a great musician, teacher and musical mentor and embark on a whole new journey of musical learning. While sharing my own story, I was able to interview guests to learn more about them as musicians and as supporters of music education. I hope that these records will be shared and used to garner further support for this cause.
As a university student studying humanities, I appreciate academics and logical thinking, concise and effective writing and strong intellectual arguments. But to me, music has always been an incredible, and publically underrated complement to studies like my own. Music encourages the musician, and even the listener, to let go, explore their own creativity and communicate emotions, interests and feelings that can’t necessarily be conveyed verbally or on a page. In short, musical studies take left-brain thinking and move it to the right, creative brain, literally opening up new horizons, horizons that deserve to be shared in schools.
I’d like to thank the Coalition for Music Education for the opportunity to volunteer, and sincerely hope that we can get youths talking about and interested in enriched music education.