Every year through the John Hancock MLK Summer Scholars Program, ZUMIX hires 5-10 youth to work with us for the summer. Positions range from assisting with our music programs, working with our Development & Communications team, or helping to plan community arts events. For many youth, this is their first paid job.
This week, we interviewed Sofia, who told us about her favorite instrument, the ukulele, and how it helps boost her creativity. Read the full interview below:
What is your name?
How old are you?
I am seventeen. I go to Boston Latin School and I live in South Boston.
How long have you been at ZUMIX? Why did you join?
This is my first summer. I needed a job! At my school I’m co-president of a club called Impact (Injustices Make People Act) and I thought it would help me be more organized and plan better workshops.
What did you do here?
I am a community arts and events intern and I help Jeeyoon with whatever she needs. Recently we were trying to have a focus group on how our events could be better for the youth in particular. And we want to start a blog so I have been doing research on it.
What do you like most about your job? What about your job are you most excited about? What do you hope to accomplish at ZUMIX?
I like being here, the atmosphere is really nice. I’m excited about seeing what I get to do. I hope to learn from everyone, meet people, and build relationships with them.
What are you most proud of (musically or non-musically)?
I feel like I’m a really good listener. I try to be a good friend, a good communicator.
What is your earliest memory with or about music?
I went to a performing arts camp where I did a lot of dance. I remember hearing somewhere say that once you get old you’re gonna lose part of that creative side of your brain, and I was like “No!” So I got a ukulele…it’s just keeping that creativity that I don’t want to lose.
What do you hope to get involved with in in the future?
Last year I did Woman to Woman which is a program where they bring girls from all over the world to Boston…and we meet people who are influential in different fields and it’s really cool. I’m doing capstone next year which is a huge research project. One of my ideas is on sexuality and sex ed and thinking that could help fight against sexism because a lot of people are ignorant about their own bodies. My other idea was Asian female representation in the media. I want to work in the UN with human rights and pursue a degree in international relations.
If you could be a musical instrument what would you be and why?
My ukulele because I actually love it so much – it’s so small and when you listen to it it brings you so much joy and the tune is so happy.
What do you think is the purpose of music? What does it mean to you?
I like listening to music in any situation. When I’m angry I turn the volume all the way up, it just goes into my ear and it’s the greatest thing ever. It helps people stay in their own world.
If you could take any musician to any show, who would it be, and what show would you take them to?
I think it would be so cool to bring musicians from different parts of the world to one place and have them listen to each other’s music.
If you had to give advice to someone younger than you, what would it be?
Do as much as you can! Start anything that you want, and start early.
What would you say to someone older than you?
Be open-minded and stop making assumptions. Don’t hold us back all the time.
What was the happiest moment in your life?
I think just being with my friends sitting in the park and talking about life.
Do you think music can change the world? In what ways?
Whenever there are movements that happen it’s always the music that sets the mood…Certain songs that are played that help the people get through it. Music is a very big part of people’s lives.