My favorite part of Kidznotes happens in the summer, which right now in the midst of all this rain and “polar vortex” weather seems very far off. Kidznotes summer camp is the one time a year I get to pack up the administrative office and hang out with the kids for three weeks straight. There is nothing better than coming to work and then being greeted by 75 excited faces. Ok 50 excited faces, because 25 kids are probably still asleep, but the excitement comes later!

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As Business and Development Manager for Kidznotes, I really enjoy getting to know the ins and outs of how we run as an organization, solving problems, and basically keeping the wheels turning in the office. But it is always a great day when I get to hang out with the kids. Marcus, a cello player with the most genuine joy for music you’ll ever see, spots me every time I come over to the nucleo with an ebullient, “Hi Miss Rachel!” And there is Erica and her sister Esmerelda. Erica forgets my name every time, but she doesn’t forget that I’m the one that will play games on my phone with her and Esmerelda while we wait for her ride.

This year there is an even larger group of students get to know, thanks to more growth in Durham as well as two schools in Raleigh. It’s so much easier to have a feel for what each class is like at our schools when I put faces to the new names we add to the roster. The little ones are usually the hardest to open up due to their shyness, but if the Winter Concert is any indication, there is plenty of personality in our newest class.

I’m getting to know a good number of the kids in my occasional afternoons and Saturday mornings over at the nucleo. My years of piano lessons and orchestra classes were vindicated when just the other day I could remember approximately half of the solfege scale and accurately tune a viola. As usual, the Brahms choir showed me up by knowing their solfege scale perfectly, which is the do-re-mi method of singing scales with accompanying hand signs, and the Beethovens violas played their newly in-tune instruments better than I could hope to! It is amazing to see how much they are learning at such a young age.

So while it continues to be foggy and quiet over in our administrative office, I’ll look forward to the sunny days of summer camp when I’ll get to throw in more viola-tuning and scale-singing with my daily duties.

-Rachel Johnson, Business and Development Manager for Kidznotes

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