Mili was sitting under a tree, teaching, when I first met her, surrounded by a gaggle of teenaged singers. The year was 2000 or so, and we were both on a Berklee in L.A. trip, which is a summertime outreach program where Berklee faculty members spend some time with younger musicians. Mili was teaching voice, I was doing some research for the Berklee Practice Method and also scouting for book ideas.
Staff Experience (Page 2 of 7)
It wasn’t until the four young boys from the Habitat house next door came sprinting on to the lawn like a makeshift football team that I realized the magnitude of what my colleagues and I were doing in New Orleans as part of Berklee’s trip with Habitat for Humanity.
In January 2016, the nonprofit MusicXChange, founded by Berklee student Federico Masetti, organized a two-week service trip to Ghana to build strategic partnerships and raise awareness about the organization. The following post was written by tamia rashima jordan, one of the trip’s participants. Read posts by fellow participants Apiwe Bubu and Ellie Foster.
By tamia rashima jordan
There are no words to convey how excited I was to finally visit THE continent. Prior to departing the U.S. I’d ask two of my friends, one from Tanzania and one from Mozambique, for any thoughts or advice with respect to my impending travels. My friend from Tanzania said a few things and while I remember them all, I deeply internalized two. The first: let go of all expectations of what it will be. He shared that having expectations, good, bad, or even neutral, can be incredibly difficult to reconcile when those expectations are not met. He said this is the case especially for African-Americans traveling to the continent for the first time.
It’s not always easy to get a feel for a city, especially one as multifaceted as New Orleans. With all of the focus on the raucous aspects of the French Quarter, it’s difficult to see the real NOLA. It hit me while doing laundry in the J&M Studios building (now a laundromat) that Ray Charles used in the early 1950’s to spark the beginnings of rock and roll … New Orleans is of critical importance to the cultural and musical history.