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Kelsey Z.

truly an experience

August 12, 2008 at 2:47 PM

You know that when your name disappears from the blog list in the column at the side of the blog page that it's been too long since you've updated your blog! I've started writing several times in the past month but I just haven't known what to say. summer..... It's been interesting! It started off in a manner which I did not anticipate at all but has slowly progressed into a good summer though probably not exactly what I would have chosen to do if circumstances had been different.

Right now I'm in my final week as a TA for YAE (Young Artist Experience) which most of you who read this frequently will probably remember is a terrific chamber music program which I have been a student at in past. It's been fun being a TA and getting to see how the kids change over the course of the program. A lot, I'd say the majority, started out very shy but through the activities and rehearsals and coachings with various people they have begun to open up and communicate a lot more. I remember my first year at YAE being terrified to try some of the activities presented but as part of the YAE experience you have to participate no matter what and it really expands your mind. My personal favorite workshops this year have been one with Sara Kendall (she did one last year) who through both a lot of fun and a lot of serious stuff managed to get everyone working together as a group and breaking out of their little cliques of 2 or 3 people they were comfortable with. Another workshop I really enjoyed was African drumming and dance. I've never felt (or probably looked!) so goofy in my life but it was so much fun! Now we're in our final stretches of the program with the concerts beginning on Thursday! I'm performing in Ravel's piano trio and a modern work by Kapustin. Both are hard and totally different but rewarding to play! I'm starting to get excited about performing them!

The thing I find so fascinating about YAE is how much people change during the course of it and how their attitudes towards themselves, their playing, chamber music, other people and sometimes certain global issues are altered (in a positive way) in such a short period of time. I'm personally far more outgoing and confident in certain aspects of my abilities as a musician as a result of my summers at YAE the past few years. I'm more willing to take risks and push myself outside of my comfort zone in order to hopefully gain from the experience and grow as an individual (and I don't mean by doing bad things!). How will you ever know what you're truly capable of if you don't push yourself outside of that restrictive comfort zone? YAE is all about pushing your abilities and exposing your strengths and improving your weaknesses and building relationships. I don't know what could be a better thing to achieve at camp!

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