Using Music for Good

Author: 
Nicole A. Powell, Student Journalist

Tuesday evening (July 17) at USC’s Carson Hall, after a long day of working on music industry attributes, GRAMMY Campers learned more about the importance of using these skills to help and serve others, through the ”Music for Good” panel. Senior VP of GRAMMY Camp, Kristen Madsen, hosted the event. The panel consisted of people who work in music industry fields including Liz Dwyler, a music journalist; Whitney Showler, an executive for Linkin Park’s Music For Relief, and Greg “Stryke” Chin, an electronic musician. All three individuals use their skills not only to create music, but also to contribute to their respective communities.

Dwyler works as a music journalist for GOOD magazine, but she also used her skills in music journalism to help create theHall Pass Tour.” Through the “Hall Pass Tour,” Dwyler went to underprivileged schools with a team of musicians to teach students how to play instruments, and to learn more about the music industry. She also taught in China, Compton, and the Bronx, focusing her teaching style on music and race relations. Showler previously worked for Warner Bros. Records and is now the COO of Music for Relief, which focuses on using music as a resource to help fund ending poverty, and aiding victims of natural disasters.  “Stryke” works as an electronic musician, but he also works with the GRAMMY Foundation’s MusiCares., whichwas founded by musicians to assist music industry professionals in times of need. Additionally, he gives back by helping with his wife’s foundation, which helps donate scholarship money to eligible Ecuadorian students and helps people in Ecuadorian villages with their medical issues. He also works with the Institution of the Blind in Israel, which provides free recording studio use to musicians facing poverty.

These individuals taught campers multiple ways in which they can use their talents to give back, including “text to give” programs in which people donate money to charities via text messaging, the Techno for Toothbrushes program which allows people to attend techno-music shows in return for donating new toothbrushes, and the Kick Starter website, which allows users to pitch their ideas for community service online in order to receive funding for their projects.

Following the panel, GRAMMY Campers organized into groups in order to brainstorm ways in which to give back to the community using music. Campers later pitched their ideas to the panel in return for feedback and constructive criticism. These ideas, among others, included creating an app which organizes secret concerts for charity, giving concerts to provide funding for music programs in Los Angeles schools, and starting a tour to promote music education nationwide. The activity and panel ultimately helped bring awareness to the importance of using talents and gifts for the service of others in need.

In the Spotlight

Kevin Burke

Attended GRAMMY Camp New York 2011, 2012; GRAMMY In The Schools Media Team 2012

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