As I packed up my violin to head out to the library, my mother was on the phone with a friend talking about the importance of exposing children to different cultures and art. I chuckled to myself because I know I was inspired by the countless concerts at the Kennedy Center and artists that I've met in my life.
Today I had the opportunity to give a mini violin recital for Black History month at the local library. I set up my equipment in front of the fireplace and sat down in a chair to pray before the coordinator made an announcement about the concert. I prayed that the music would show God's grace and that I humbled myself before others. I also prayed that the music would inspire someone and make a difference in their life. Minutes later, the coordinator made the announcement on the overhead intercoms and people slowly gravitated towards the fireplace.
I remember how still and quiet it felt in the area. I could hear the heat wafting throughout the air and sound of clicking as people used their computers. I was stationed in a room where there was meant to be a respectful sense of quiet yet in a few minutes I would fill the space with music...
A little girl sat with her father on the couch in front of me. She appeared 5 or 6 in age and seemed eager to hear me play. She said, "it's the "biolin," as she pronounced it without the v. I couldn't help but laugh because it sounded similar to the Japanese pronunciation of violin. My words echoed in the space as I spoke of the history of negro spirituals and their impact. I took a deep breath and began with Amazing Grace. The music had a strange effect in that space. People stopped typing, put their books down, turned away from their computers, and listened. People standing by the couches near the fireplace or across the room tucked away in a corner began to watch with anticipation. I noticed others take out their cellphones to record as they smiled. Some began to walk towards the fireplace with their children and point. I remember finishing the song and hearing applause from different directions and floors in the library.
I remember feeling at ease because people weren't annoyed by the music. They wanted to hear the history and be a part of the experience. I could hear some sing along as I played When The Saints Go Marching In and Joy to the World. One person, however, got my attention. I saw the same little girl from before clap her hands and yell "YAYYYYYY!"
After the concert, the coordinator said she was glad I came to play. She said I inspired others through my music and was so happy to see others enjoy themselves. She mentioned the little girl and how awesome it was to see her response to the music.
I love playing in the community because I can make a huge impact. I simply tell people who I am and share music the way God has gifted me so.