What does is mean to be an Artist in Service?

So for the past couple of months, I’ve been assisting the drum corps teachers for the Northside Drill Team. Every Thursday night from 6-8pm, we gather together to learn and rehearse routines for parades and competitions.

The drill team itself has been around for many years and is directed by our Meadowbrook case manager, Darnesha Weary. Her husband, Erwin and his friend Dana, have volunteered to take charge of the drum corps.

There are various levels of drumming abilities, various learning styles, and of course various challenges. From teaching drumming patterns and learning the drill team routines, to helping keep the boys focused and serving as video documentarian; this is all exploratory work into what it means to be an artist in service.

Given the past history I’ve experienced with the Meadowbrook youth in the last 2 years and just recently (see previous post: Ho, Ho, Ho…Santa’s a Bully) I feel it’s important to be as active in the community as much as I can. Whether or not I’m actually teaching a music class, my presence is crucial to the development of this work.

This is the challenge, I think, of this artist in service project I have embarked upon–to find ways to better understand this particular group of kids and families and assess new ways to create meaningful relationships that will positively impact the community as a whole.

This is a lot to swallow, I know.

Any thoughts?

As for me, I have to go ZUMBA with the kids, prep for my early elementary music class, and figure out next week’s Teen Time Cooking class recipe…EEP!

Oh yeah, check out a snippet of our NorthSide Drill Team and Drum Corps rehearsal!