Live Blog: Spotlight Conversation #2

3:005 pm: A peer network is one of the best things to come out of Sphinx training.

3:02 pm: We are learning that Amos Yang is a major prankster. When the substitute teacher would come in, all the members of his school orchestra would switch instruments. Suddenly, he was the Concertmaster!

2:55 pm: Afa Sadykhly Dworkin has observed that the idea that classical music “isn’t cool” doesn’t come into play until the teenage years. Young kids don’t have this bias.

2:54 pm: Afa Sadykhly Dworkin: for many kids that Sphinx works with “survival skills are perhaps more key” than learning an instrument. Music is a luxury and a foreign value. Sphinx brings music to them — literally — transportation is often an issue. Sphinx instructors often have to be the cheerleader to keep a kid to stick with music, in the face of many obstacles. Often it’s not going to be someone in the family telling them to continue.

2:49 pm: Amos Yang fist stepped on the stage of Davies Symphony Hall thirty years ago as an 11-year-old cellist in the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra. He claims he goofed off in the last stand of the cello section. He wanted to quit, but was encouraged to stay in the orchestra. He recognizes that kids these days have so much pressure to excel in so many different activities.

2:45 pm: Community often starts in small, grassroots ways.

2:40 pm: Amos Yang on beginning to play the cello: his teacher told him, “put your arms around the instrument and give it a bear hug.” That’s how it all began! Amos Yang played in the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra, and now in the SF Symphony.

2:39 pm: Afa Sadykhly Dworkin introduces the Sphinx Organization. Growth in audience will reflect the growth in the population.

2:35 pm: Spotlight conversation #2 begins with Afa Sadykhly Dworkin, VP/Artistic Director, Sphinx Organization, Detroit, and Amos Yang, Assistant Principal Cellist, San Francisco Symphony, and alumnus, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra; moderated by Steven Winn, San Francisco arts journalist and critic.

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