Changing Keys

A few days ago, I posted some promotional videos that we filmed for the non-profit organization, Changing Keys , which connects kids, schools, and communities to donated, gently used pianos.  We were asked to be artist ambassadors for the organization, and couldn't be more excited to be part of such a great cause! You can read a lot more about their organization on their website, but I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to elaborate a bit more on why I think Changing Keys is important, and why music in general has been important to me.  I had to wittle all of my thoughts into two one minute long videos (which you can see below), but I had a lot of stuff left over that I wanted to share, that didn't make it into the videos.  

Some of you may know this about me already, but I have a lot of experience working as a therapist with at-risk youth. So, when Changing Keys approached me about being an artist ambassador, I immediately began thinking about all of the kids that I've worked with whose main protective factors were their hobbies. Whether it was being part of a sports team, writing poetry, or playing music, those were the things that helped them to not only escape the stress of their families and communities, but also the thing that made them feel important and gave them the strength to heal.  Unfortunately, not every kid I worked with was lucky enough to find a niche, as their families' financial and emotional crises often usurped their children's soccer games and art lessons. And those are the kids, who NEED an organization like Changing Keys.  They are the ones who have the cards stacked against them.  They are the ones that whose entire life course could change if they had the ability to develop a talent that might have otherwise gotten buried in their struggles.  

And then I started to think about me.  And began to wonder what would have happened if I never had the opportunity to play the piano.  I imagined hundreds of possibilities.  Would I have gotten in trouble with the law?  Would I have dropped out of school?  Would I feel bored and unsatisfied with my life and not know why?  Playing music gives me a sense of purpose, and a sense of hopefulness about the future.  I realize I am lucky to have had enough support in my life to develop my skills as a musician. I am forever grateful for that.  And I really, REALLY, hope that there is a movement to begin valuing the arts in education again, so that this generation of kids can have the same opportunity to develop their talents and eventually grow into happy, healthy, and confident adults.