The Merit School of Music is a nonprofit organization in Chicago that provides resources for students to reach their full musical potential by removing economic barriers and providing a high-quality music education.
As Music Librarian and Student Services intern, I am hoping to gain an understanding of what is required to run a nonprofit organization and to understand how to effectively manage a music library so that it is both available to students as a resource and also stays organized.
I am interning this summer at Carnegie Hall’s music education and social impact programs department, The Weill Music Institute (WMI). The mission statement is as follows: Carnegie Hall’s mission is to present extraordinary music and musicians on the three stages of this legendary hall, to bring the transformative power of music to the widest possible audience, to provide visionary education programs, and to foster the future of music through the cultivation of new works, artists and audiences. The Weill Music Institute is split up into three parts: artist training programs, social impacts programs, and learning & engagement programs. This summer I will be working as assistant to the Director of Social Impacts Programs. This internship will allow me to gain insight into what a possible career in arts administration will look like since my supervisor is an arts administrator at a very high level. I feel very lucky to be working with my supervisor because she exhibits many wonderful leadership qualities that I hope to learn from her. It is exciting to be around such a strong female role model! I am also excited to learn about the ways in which The Weill Music Institute creates new programs and maintains existing ones. I will be working on a new program that they just launched in March, Create Justice, so I will get direct experience in watching how these programs are shaped and get to help with the shaping of the future of the program.
My first day on the job was very exciting! On the way to work, I was joking with my friend that I wouldn’t get much responsibility and have the typical first day that any intern has: a tour around the office and a tutorial on how the copy machine works…but I was very wrong. I had never been to Carnegie Hall before my first day. I had only seen pictures and heard stories about incredible musicians putting on even more incredible concerts. The first few hours were mainly spent acclimating to the office space and meeting new people, but then I had a meeting with my supervisor about what I would be doing for the rest of the day. There was a small choir coming in for a concert that evening in the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage (the main stage of Carnegie Hall). This choir was made up of older people who were either currently experiencing homelessness or had experienced it in the past. The program they were from participated in the first songwriting project that Carnegie had around seven years ago, so it was very special since some of the people in the choir were there for that first songwriting experience. My supervisor and I were hosting the choir from around 2pm until the end of the concert (~10:30pm) so it was a very long day of figuring out how to get around backstage/around the building while escorting this choir. It was wonderful to be able to engage with some of the people that the Social Impact Programs had directly worked with over the years. In addition to spending the day with the members of the choir, many people from the communities that The Weill Music Institute provides opportunities to were at the concert as audience members and I had the chance to speak with some of them. I can’t think of a better way to be introduced to The Weill Music Institute than through meeting the people who are experiencing the programing that WMI provides. As an added bonus, during the actual concert, Stephen Schwartz (composer of Wicked and Godspell) made a guest appearance and sang the well-known song from Wicked, “For Good”. Overall, my first day felt like the perfect introduction to both The Weill Music Institute and Carnegie Hall!
New York Jazz Academy is an organization dedicated to teaching people of all ages, kids, adults, and elderly people how to approach jazz in a healthy, exciting way, taught by faculty that know it best and who are not only great players but also great, kind teachers. My impressions so far are that they definitely hold up to those standards. The faculty I’ll be working with all seem like such incredible people, and are very sunshiney and seem very positive and easy to work with, both for me and the students.
My first day was great, I went out to our church where we will be running the first week of camp to work with Dave Engelhard on one of the ensembles that NYJA works with year-round. The students all seemed very interested and invested in playing, and I got a chance to play both piano and drum set along with them as well. I was blown away by Dave, both as a teacher and a player. Truly top-notch in both categories, and an awesome, awesome dude who was friendly with me from the second I met him. Can’t wait to talk to him more. Now for the rest of the week I’ll be working out of Javier’s (the director) apartment with him and planning curriculum for the kids. Super pumped.
I will be interning with the Center for Deep Listening at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Deep Listening is a practice meant to help in listening more intently to your surroundings and what these sounds contribute to life with the use of improvising, sounding, movement, dreams, and you guessed it, listening. My first week was spent and the next 2 weeks will be spent as TA/participant in the Deep Listening course being offered at RPI this summer. The course is interesting and a bit different from the Deep Listening lab that I took at Lawrence this past spring term. It is different because the majority of the students taking the course are studying some form of engineering. This has allowed me to see a different perspective and approach to the practice. These students view things from a very critical and analytical perspective and the way they choose to listen has been wonderful to observe. During my first week, but their third week, I got to listen to some compositions that the students created using sounds they recorded around their campus and then manipulating these sounds with a program called Audacity, we went on a student-lead sound walk, and are just now dipping into writing and performing text scores. Text scores are basically instructions to performing a sonic experience. Next week we will be diving more into those and doing more movement/body focused activities. Looking forward to telling you all about those! Attached is an image of Troy from the RPI campus, I’m not big on photos of myself and my site is this tiny little town, so I hope you guys enjoy the view!
I just wrapped up my summer internship at the Weill Music Institute, and not surprisingly, it was very hard for me to say goodbye. On my last day in the office, my coworkers threw me a celebration picnic in Central Park (not a bad way to bid farewell!), and the rest of my day was filled with hugs, goodbyes, and attempting to sneak in a few more final projects before I left. As I packed up and left the office that night, I couldn’t help but realize how much I had grown and changed because of this incredible experience. I entered this experience with a strong passion for helping people to create or enhance their connection to music, but not very much practical knowledge of how to turn this vision into a reality. Now, after spending an entire summer learning from people who work towards this mission every day, in so many different forms and capacities, I can honestly say that this has been the most inspiring and transformative learning experience of my life so far. It would take hours for me to recount everything I have learned from my amazing colleagues at the Weill Music Institute and Carnegie Hall, but there is one central lesson that they have imparted on me this summer: the most fundamental step in making a difference in the world is deep, meaningful inquiry and a commitment to asking the important questions. The Weill Music Institute has become what it is today through this dedication to asking the important questions—especially the question of “How can music make a meaningful difference in people’s lives?”—and this constant commitment to excellence makes WMI and Carnegie Hall a truly inspiring place to work. Continue reading Weill Music Institute – Reflecting on the end of my internship – Daniel Bernstein
I came into this internship through my administration and production experience gained by devising and producing my own multi-media performance piece as my senior project; this project made me an excellent candidate to support the Lyric in their recent initiative to re-brand and expand audiences through a series of multi-media and multi-genre events. While at the Lyric, I’ve gained insight into the work involved in film producing, as well as the muscle it takes to pull off large-scale project initiatives. Working with the Lyric has given me much to consider in terms of workplace, size of organization, and the pros and cons of various employment situations: I am grateful to have had this opportunity to reflect on what I value. Most importantly, I’ve made two notable relationships with mentors during my interim here: I’ve learned closely from the Lyric Unlimited Producer and the Lyric Opera’s Deputy Artistic Director—both have been extraordinarily generous with their insight and time. Through these mentorships, I feel especially equipped to pave my own way pursuing my interests in multi-media, collaborative, devised performance works; I am excited to shape my future and see what the knowledge and experience I’ve accumulated during this internship and my wonderful time at Lawrence will yield.