‘Tis the season for giving thanks and giving back

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we all have things to be grateful for. However, Thanksgiving is not only a day to be thankful, but also a day for giving back. If you are a musician or artist and want to give back to the community in a unique way expressed by your individual art form, keep reading for several opportunities to do so both at Northwood and beyond!

  1. MUSE

If you’re interested in brightening the lives of senior citizens in the area, Musicians United for Service and Entertainment (MUSE) is a fantastic way to give back to the community through music. The club holds regular performances at senior centers, often collaborating with other volunteer organizations and holding concerts with large numbers of performers on a wide variety of instruments (including vocal!). Not only do members have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with students from other schools, but they also become part of a tight-knit musical community in Irvine all through doing community service. Members believe that being able to see the smiles on the faces of the seniors at the end of the performance is worth all the practice and hard work performers put in to organize the events. MUSE will also be holding benefit concerts in the near future, with the goal in mind to spread the love of music to an even larger audience and make everyone’s day just a little brighter! If all this sounds interesting to you, make sure to head out to MUSE meetings which are held every Friday at lunch in Room 1005.

  1. Interlude

Another great opportunity to give back to the community is through giving free music lessons to kids in underprivileged families who cannot afford the high cost of private lessons. If you enjoy teaching kids and leaving a long-term impact on the life of an individual by providing them an opportunity to pursue music, Interlude may be the right club for you! Don’t fret if you don’t think you’re qualified to teach—the club reaches out to multiple elementary schools in the region, so most of the kids that come are just starting out on their instruments. These kids are matched to club members based on instruments and, at scheduled times, they meet with their assigned club member mentor. If you decide to join, not only will your mentee learn a lot from this experience for free, but you will also learn a lot about communication and perhaps even hone your own musicianship through the new perspective teaching provides! If you’re interested, check out the Interlude club meetings held in room 501 on odd Thursdays at lunch.

  1. Independent Organizations

In addition to the many opportunities Northwood clubs on campus provide for music-related volunteering, there are many outside organizations that also provide amazing opportunities to give back to the community through music and art. One such organization is OC Arts, which aims to spread love and appreciation for all kinds of art—instrumental or visual—throughout the community and help students reach their artistic potential. The organization holds multiple benefit concerts and outreach programs throughout the year that students can be involved in and contribute to the spreading art in the community. If you’re interested, check out the Steam for All website where you will find a sign-up link for OC Arts. OC Arts is just one example of an organization outside of school; in fact, there are dozens more that you can join and contribute to a specific cause, including California Young Musicians, Music & Memory and Giving Bach.