From the Prairies of Saskatchewan to a performance career…

From the Prairies of Saskatchewan to a performance career…

Mentor Chad Armstrong wouldn’t have dreamed about traveling the world, until his parents planted the seed of music in his life. Read on to see how Chad hopes to influence his ArtSmart students in the same way that his parents influenced him…

I grew up on the Prairies of Saskatchewan. Life was about the prairies and hockey. My parents grew up in a similar way and made the decision that their children were going to play a musical instrument in the hopes that it would open new possibilities. That is what started me on the path to the places the following places…North Dakota, Massachussets, Oklahoma, Utah, New York, New Jersey, Hungary, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Vermont, Missouri, Texas and Florida. At no point in my youth did I dream of singing professionally. A music career isn’t the type of dream included in a prairie life. My parent’s decision planted the seed that would one day grow into the dream of music as a career.

This is what drew me to ArtSmart. The idea of opening up someone’s mind to dreams they didn’t know they could have is a privilege. My students inspire me more than I can hope to inspire them. The nascent talents of these students is humbling. I am not talking purely of musical talent, but the strength and curiousity essential to realizing dreams.

It is hard to measure how much music can help these students achieve their dreams and goals. Plenty of studies have been done that come up with all types of numbers and statistics. I am not sure those numbers are the most important to the success of these students. The number that I believe the most important is the number that represents the passionate indiviuals at ArtSmart who are supporting these students with their time, energy and resources. With this number of passionate, talented and supportive people behind these students, dreams can begin. This is what truly excites me about working with these mentees. Watching that dream begin and grow.

Twenty years from now I hope I get to read a blog entry like this from one of the ArtSmart students. A list of places they got to experience. A life changed because of music. A passion to become a partner in the dreams of a young dreamer.

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