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 Juan, a rising senior at the Boston Arts Academy. His music career began in elementary school, when Juan learned to play the recorder and violin, but after picking up the bass in middle school, Juan became more involved in music. Juan has been at ZUMIX for 4 years, and introduces rock music to kids with little to no experience in music. At ZUMIX, Juan hopes to give back to the community and share his passion for music. Read the full interview below:
How old are you and where are you from?
I’m 17 and I live in East Boston.
What do you like most about your job? What about your job are you most excited about?
I like how I can do something for the community and teach kids who have never played music before. I’m really excited for the showcase I’m facilitating.
If you could be a musical instrument what would you be and why?
Bass because it’s my favorite instrument.
What do you hope to accomplish musically?
I hope to motivate youth and anyone to become more passionate. Like when I listen to bands, I always feel motivated by them and I want people to do the same with my music.
What’s your favorite song and why?
There’s a lot. All the songs I’ve listen to have inspired me. But, I love 505 by the Arctic Monkeys. I like the simplicity—how it’s only made up of 2 chords and they keep adding on to it throughout the song.
If you could take any musician to a show who would it be, and what show would you take them to?
I would take Arctic Monkeys to my show. It would be awesome for them to hear my music.
Who is an artist that you have been inspired by recently?
Julian Baker. Her lyrics are so deep. When I first listened to her it inspired me to pick up the bass and write music.
What do you think is the purpose of music? What does music mean to you?
I think the purpose of music is to use it in a way to impact someone or the world positively. For example, to motivate them to write music or even to complete their ten-page essay.
Do you think music can change the world? In what ways?
I think music definitely can change the world. In school we learn about activism. Music has this power—one that we can use for good. A lot of people use it to express themselves but you can also use it to explain things in the world.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would want racial equality.
What do you think is most important for people to know? What is most important to you?
I want people to know that they have the power to change the world. We can change the world. I know there’s a lot of activism locally. Recently we participated in the BPS walkout. Basically, we walked out of school in the middle of the day because the city was going to cut our school budgets. In the end the mayor decided not to cut our budgets.
What dreams do you have?
Save the whales!