Connecting with Music

CBYX 2018-19 participant Ashley K. of Massachusetts, hosted in Detmold, shares how she connected with her host family through music.

During my exchange year, I have connected with others not only through German, but through music as well. I connect best with my audience through my violin. In the past year, I won 1st place in the Regional level, and then 1st place again at the State Level of the German Music Competition, “Jugend Musiziert” in the Violin Solo category. This has qualified me for Nationals. Preparing for the Jugend Musiziert was an intense process: I received extra violin lessons, practiced every night after school and swim practice, and organized rehearsals before the competition. I am quite proud of myself for my determination, responsibility, and motivation. Even though I have played violin for 10 years, my relationship with the violin has grown tremendously this past year in Germany.

Music has also helped me bond with my host family; during the Jugend Musiziert, my host family and I shared our excitement as we traveled together to the competitions, and afterwards, we shared our satisfaction and relief. My host brother, Jakob, plays violin as well, and together we play chamber music in the Landes Musik Akademie program. I am so fortunate that music has provided me with opportunities to meet and connect with such wonderful and inspirational people, and I’ve gained many memories and life lessons that I will treasure.