The Man With The Jack, Ducks Falling From the Sky, and Please and Thank You!

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In my youth my Dad would always try to pass on some sort of lesson or a bit of wisdom to me and my siblings. He would use stories that he picked up from his dad or from his business colleagues or from coaches here and there; some of them made a ton of sense, and others were…interesting??? One of his favorites was a story about a man and a jack which I still don’t understand to this day. But one that I do remember well, and really stuck with me (although I’m not sure of its origins) had to do with waiting for things to happen. He said something to the effect of “an old proverb states that a man will have to stand outside with his mouth open to the sky for an awfully long time before a duck falls into it.” Dad wanted us to realize that we couldn’t just stand around waiting for things to happen to/for us. We had to be active participants in our future.

This lesson, or a variation of it, is the one of Dad’s that I tend to use more often than others with my students, and with my own kids. It really gets to the heart of bringing shape to dreams and seeing a project through to its fruition. As I have written before this idea of the Community Music Center rattled around inside my head for quite a while before I let it out into the open. If I sat around waiting for the idea to grow wings, it probably wasn’t going to happen, and if by some miracle it did, the reality certainly wouldn’t match my vision. We have been putting a lot of effort into ILCMC, and things are really taking shape: we’ve had our first lessons and classes, and now we are planning for the fall semester and beyond. We’ve been able to get as far as we have  with the help of a small core of people, and the financial support of a few more. But, I am finding myself standing in the middle of the field with my mouth open waiting for greater financial support to materialize. It’s not happening.

So, here I go, on the verge of doing something that takes me out of my comfort zone: I am asking for help raising funds for the Center. Will everyone who is reading this please take out a credit card and visit this page to make a donation to the Sounds of Illinois Community Music Center? If you have been following our journey you know we are providing tuition free music education and performance opportunities to learners throughout our community. Through our Tuition-Free Academy alone, we are handing out about $1500 in tuition over the next 5 weeks to a group of 10 elementary aged string students. And in a few weeks we will offer our summer choir mini-camp to a growing group of rising 1st – 3rd graders. We would love to lift the limits to how many kids we can afford to reach each semester, but we need your help to make that happen. The possibilities of what we can do for our community with the right financial support are so exciting to think about. The Sounds of Illinois Community Music Center can be the model of what a community music center can do.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support!

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