Beep! Click. Access Denied. These are familiar sounds that take part in our daily lives. We live in the 21st century, a period in which everything is possible in terms of technology. Ever heard of taking selfies? How about using hashtags? Oh, and did you know that you can see someone in person online through video chatting? This year, we (Phase 2) decided to present Reflections on Connections in a High Speed World for our annual youth salon. Our topics was about how social media affects our lives socially and musically. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages that it brings to our society. We engaged our audience by talking with them in small groups about deep questions regarding our theme including "Does music make us more empathetic?", "At what point does social media become anti-social?", and "Does social media promote narcissism?"
Through musical performances, student-led discussions, panel discussions, and skits, we were able to make our point across to the audience. Did technology make us more or less isolated? Are in-person conversations more valid than online connections? To this day, technology has been a powerful way of communication but also a significant factor of isolation for many. It was great to see everybody participating by contributing their ideas and opinions.
Heather Argueta is an incoming junior at Classical High School. She has been in Community MusicWorks for nine years, playing the violin and studying with Sebastian Ruth. Heather is part of Phase Two, a group of CMW youth students where they play in chamber music groups and take part in discussions about topics. She attended the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music this summer and volunteered in a pre-school program known as Kidsbridge. She is a member of her school's debate team and has played in the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Heather aspires to one day become a surgeon and has a passion for theater and traveling.