Arts Blog

The Beauty of JOY

While working on my blog post series that discusses events and organizations who are dedicated to bettering our community through classical music, I am inspired yet again by a project All Classical Portland has taken on. This weekend we officially launched the JOY (Joyous Outreach to You/th) and the three initiatives that are devoted to making classical music accessible to all:

Young Roving Reporters

All Classical Portland has just selected six individuals between the ages of 15 and 21 to serve as reporters within their community. Each of them will receive training and mentorship from the on-air team here to produce their content, and they will emerge as ‘arts ambassadors in their communities’. Through this initiative, the young reporters will learn relevant story-telling skills, gain in-depth knowledge about the field of broadcast journalism, and have a platform through the radio station with which to share their content.

The positive effects of young individuals being exposed to the arts is a subject that continues to be thoroughly studied, with a wealth of scientific research stating that music exposure and music education is an incredibly powerful tool for “attaining children’s full intellectual, social, and creative potential” (The Royal Conservatory, p.1). It has been proven that music speeds the development of speech and reading skills, trains children to focus their attention for sustained periods, and helps children gain a sense of empathy for others. Daniel Joseph Levitin, an award-winning scientist, musician, record producer, and 3-time bestselling author, wrote in one of his book titled This is Your Brain on Music, “musical activity involves nearly every region of the brain that we know about, and nearly every neural subsystem.” (p.299). Even Albert Einstein credited much of his success to his music education; “The theory of relativity occurred to me by intuition, and music is the driving force behind this intuition. My parents had me study the violin from the time I was six. My new discovery is the result of musical perception,” (The Royal Conservatory, p.5). In this world of constant stimulation, classical music study leads to lasting changes in young brains, increasing their capacity to perform tasks that require sustained attention and careful listening and reading. And to top it off, the additional skills these young reporters will learn will give them a step up in their eventual search for a future career.


Where We Live Series

In line with All Classical Portland’s mission to shine a spotlight on those who are helping to enrich our cultural community, this series will highlight the local groups and organizations who are provide service-oriented programs in the realm of art, music, and theater which explore the intersection of art and social issues.

Music has always had the ability to bring people together, whether it is a rallying call to inspire action, or simply a call for peace. The emotional aspect behind every silence and sound is able to unify large groups of people with a feeling of solidarity and communal understanding. The power of music is an incredible thing, and it is All Classical Portland’s mission to bring forward groups in our community who choose to use this power for good.


Night Out

This initiative is created for music-lovers within our community who are challenged by personal circumstances to attend live arts events. Because they recognize the importance of availability and accessibility in the arts world, All Classical Portland will provide tickets and transportation with the goal being to share the joy, beauty, and sense of belonging associated with experiencing the performing arts in person. Continuing the conversation about the power of music, the positive impact is not limited to the influence on a listener’s mental being. For more information about the positive physical effects music has on its listeners, please go to All Classical Portland’s Office Manager, McLane Harrington’s blog post titled “Music and the Brain”, in which she discusses why certain musical sounds elicit a physical response.

The Beauty of JOY


Exposure to great art can only benefit us, and every initiative set forth by JOY is designed with the belief that classical music should be available and accessible to everyone, regardless of circumstance in mind. People who are engaged in the world of music benefit greatly mentally, physically, and socially. What drew me to music study in the first place is my passion for the connection between the effects music has on individuals and its ability to be utilized for positive social change. I am beyond thrilled to see the results of All Classical Portland’s newest endeavor, and cannot wait to see what inspiring work this organization will do next.


Sources used:

“Dr. Daniel J. Levitin — Neuroscientist ◦ Musician ◦ Author”. Daniellevitin.Com. 2016. Accessed November 3, 2017. 

“Introducing JOY!” All Classical Portland. November 2, 2017.

Levitin, Daniel J. This Is Your Brain on Music : The Science of a Human Obsession. New York,N.Y.: Dutton, 2006.

“Your Child’s Development: Music Study may be the Best Tool.” The Royal Conservatory. April 2014. Accessed November 3, 2017.

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