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By Nadene Rasmussen, YOLA at HOLA Teaching Artist

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I became a teaching artist at HOLA almost two years ago. I’d been volunteering for a few months, and was constantly inspired by the incredible students who walked through the doors each day. I knew that HOLA was the place for me, so when I was asked to join this amazing faculty, naturally I was thrilled. Today, as one of HOLA’s string specialists, my main goals are to improve technique, instill the value of persistence and consistent work ethic, encourage a sense of self-worth and compassion, and suggest that the possibilities both in life and in music are endless. This is of tremendous importance to me because my students deserve the best.

As a first generation college graduate from a hardworking immigrant family, I can relate to the kids I teach. When I moved to Australia from New Zealand, I was lucky to enter a state school with a free orchestral program. While it wasn’t el sistema-inspired, it offered a similarly transformative educational experience that influenced not only my family, but many others in our local community, producing a number of world-class musicians and composers. Best of all, it allowed us to come together to learn and achieve a level of performance that made us all proud. It is a privilege to continue to work with children engaged in a journey of personal and musical development.
I see so much curiosity and joy of learning in all of HOLA’s students, especially our youngest. Even a simple bowing exercise we call “rocket ship” was recently turned into an intergalactic adventure, with students choosing destinations like Saturn, heaven, and a black hole. With imaginations like this and the support of programs like YOLA at HOLA, I truly believe that anything these students dream they can achieve.  


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