This creative fundraising event connects young musicians for a worthy cause. The Kam sisters started Young Musicians Workshop in 2013 and have hosted it for 5 years now, raising a total of $8800 for poverty alleviation in East Asia.
Elisabeth (Beth) Kam and her sisters have been playing violin, viola, and piano from a young age and especially love playing in quartets. “We wanted to use our gifts and abilities to help others,” Beth shared. As a founding staff member, Beth eagerly anticipates Young Musicians Workshop every summer and has played various roles in the camp over the years, including craft director, game director, and music teacher. This year she took the helm as Director of the entire camp.
“This year’s camp was a huge success!” said Beth. “We had 17 kids attend, our largest camp ever.”
Engaging the Community
Through YMW, Beth and her sisters have effectively engaged other high school students from the community. The nine YMW teachers are all musical friends from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, where Beth is a violist.
The students hail from different parts of the community as well, including homeschool groups, neighborhood groups, and referrals from local music teachers. Beth teaches piano in her own private studio, so her students attend the workshop too. Many of the YMW students have come year after year and often refer their friends.
At the Young Musicians Workshop, the students receive private music lessons, practice a duet or a quartet, enjoy musical crafts, games, and snacks, learn about a composer and music theory, and participate in choir. Playing in a duet or quartet is the focus of the camp, as it teaches the students how to work together, a critical life skill to nurture from a young age.
More Than Melodies
The goal of YMW is not just to teach and perform music—it’s to raise money for an Agape Fish Fund Project. The students and teachers develop not only the lifelong skill of teamwork, but also a heart to give. All the tuition from the camp has been donated to build houses in rural Vietnam and to help children who need heart surgery in Gansu, China. So far, the YMW has sponsored four houses. This year they will sponsor another two. Over the five years, YMW has raised a total of $8800 for poverty alleviation in Asia.
Fun and Life-Changing Impact
Beth encourages other people to serve in creative ways. “Determine what your skills and interests are,” she advises. “It could be rock-climbing, cooking, or science. Leverage your interests to better the lives of others in your local and global community. That way, your service will not only be fun, but life-changing.”
A three-Way Win
For Beth, YMW is the highlight of her summer. “It is an incredible experience to plan for this camp and then see it come together in such a productive, rewarding week, a week filled with energy and excitement and a week dedicated to a family in Asia. YMW is a win-win-win situation. The teachers are blessed, the students are blessed, and families across the globe are blessed. I am so thankful that we are able to offer hope to others in our own small, but significant way.”
If you’re inspired by the Kam sisters, find out how you can make a difference in the local and global community too!
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