Emily has been a concert violinist for nine years. She has also dreamed of being an artist, a writer, a teacher, party planner, and even the owner of combination bookstore and cupcake shop. “I have always been fascinated with the idea of choosing a career”, she said. “It seemed absolutely impossible for me to decide on just ONE thing to pursue for the rest of my life.” But it was her three summers volunteering at The Art of Being Social summer camp that revealed her true path in life. In August of 2018, Emily departed for the University of Dayton to pursue a degree in music therapy.
“It was not until I began volunteering at Melodic Connections summer camp that I realized I could have a job doing EVERYTHING I ever wanted. I believe there is power in what this organization is doing. By being a volunteer, I realized the impact of music therapy. I was able to help others, be supportive, spread joy, and work with the people I love most… all in a musical atmosphere. It was the perfect fit.”
Emily says volunteering taught her to be patient, considerate, and empathetic as she watched campers helping each other, growing in communication, and becoming independent. It also changed how she related to music. “Every time I thought of music, it was a very technical and perfectionist mind set. Someone was always better than you. Someone was always working harder. By volunteering in a music therapy setting I learned and realized that music is not about competition and being perfect. Music is about giving peace, learning important lessons, and self-expression. Since being here, I have begun to truly appreciate the power of music.”
Rinnah started considering music therapy as a profession during her freshman year of high school but became convinced during her junior year when she volunteered for two weeks at camp. “I fell in love with the kids and the music. Volunteering definitely helped shape my path to becoming a music therapist. I’ve always considered myself to be kind and caring but I believe that volunteering at summer camp has made me more patient and more aware of the needs of others.”
A favorite volunteer moment came when working with a camper who would often get nervous. “Sometimes when she was nervous I would put my hand on her back. One time we were sitting in a circle and she put her hand on my back then looked up at me and smiled. I thought that was really sweet.” Rinnah recently graduated from Walnut Hills High School and will be pursuing a music therapy degree at Ohio University.