Blog 7: The glory of volunteering
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” I came across this quote which is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson in a book I was reading recently.
famous people are always assumed to echo some profound truth that often escapes the notice of your average Joe living a hectic life. To me this quote seemed like a good summary of my own experience volunteering. So rather than rest on the laurels of some famous person, I thought I’d try to convince you as to why you should give volunteering a go using my own perspective as an average millennial living a frantic life, trying to figure out my place in the world.
If I had to make a list of all the pros and cons of volunteering, there would be zero cons and so many pros. Firstly you have nothing to lose, and only a wealth of experience to gain. You get to meet some really interesting folk, try new things, see wonderful places and find out and develop your interests. It’s like this: when you leave school, you find out that you are a highly refined, fine-tuned, uniquely shaped piece of a puzzle but you don’t know where you fit. A ubiquitous contemporary problem, and the only good solution I’ve found is to just try lots of different puzzles. Maybe one of them will spark something in you? If not, then at the very least you can hone in on exactly what it was you didn’t like and try something different. All of it piles onto your mountain of experience and very few things come close to being as rewarding as volunteering. Ensemble too has its own line-up of volunteers, without whom the whole operation would collapse. From supporting the workshops to the songwriting process, our volunteers ensure that all the young people leave with a bright smile on their faces. But enough from me, instead here are some reflections from our brilliant volunteers Albi Taylor and Nicola Denman on their experience volunteering for Ensemble.
How did you come to start volunteering for Ensemble?
Can you tell us briefly about what your role as a volunteer entails? How have you found the whole experience?
What have you found most rewarding about volunteering at Ensemble?
What is something new that you have learnt about yourself through this experience?
Do you think this experience has influenced your own professional practice as a musician?
What advice do you have for anyone who might be new to volunteering for Ensemble and wants to give it a go?
Lastly, what is your favourite memory of volunteering with Ensemble so far?