We welcomed more than 540 students to Ball State University this morning for the Leadership Weekend Experience. Not only was this a brand new experience for a large portion of the campers that arrived this morning, this was also a brand new experience for me.

While this is my second time at the Music for All Summer Symposium, this is my first time at the Leadership Experience. The energy from the kids, even at 8 a.m., filled the entire Field Sports Building. Everyone was genuinely happy to be there and the feeling was extremely infectious.

For anyone who has not had the luxury of listening to Eric Martin, President and CEO of Music for All, speak about the importance of the Summer Symposium and Music for All programs, I wish that opportunity on you as soon as possible. He asked three things of our students: “be brave enough to explore, take care of yourselves, and take care of each other.” Mr. Martin electrified the crowd and that current continued through the powerful messages from our Leadership Division Head, Fran Kick. Again, the energy was so palpable, I wish I could have wrapped it up and put in my pocket to carry with me for the rest of camp.

Whether a student is a returning leader or staying away from home for the first time, everyone is going to come out of this weekend with a different perspective than which they started. Sitting in the evening sessions has already proven that for me. Whether it was Lynda Hasseler telling us “you are breath, you are light,” I feel completely amped to dive into the rest of this week head-on and continue to learn alongside these phenomenal student leaders.

Be sure to continue to follow our coverage of the 2018 Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha on social media. We’re on Facebook at Music for All, Twitter at @musicforall, Instagram at @officialmusicforall, and Snapchat at @officialmfa. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #mfacamp18 so we can all look back at the wonderful memories we’re making this week for years to come.

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I’m looking forward to all sharing the next week of positively life-changing experiences with all of you!