by Joel Weszka (IMIF Chamber Music Faculty Coach)
Reflecting on IMIF 2013, it is still a challenge to summarize just how much I experienced in the timeframe of my service, and how valuable all of it was and is.
I noticed in particular that IMIF is this unusual microcosm where age does not matter: so many different students - ranging in age from 8 through 22 - came together to make great music, and yet their shared energy, and in particular, their openness in learning, is remarkable.
It was a privilege and inspiration granted to me to be one of the people helping to shape and guide these students. They challenged me to deepen my own understanding of some very specific music and to communicate it, and to adapt and expand my pedagogical tools. I invested my knowledge and energy, and their receptivity, their sheer uniqueness among one another, and their sort of rawness as young musicians, all rewarded me with renewed purpose in all of my musical work.
In the short term, IMIF remains the highlight of my summer. In the long term, I know I will draw from this experience as a teacher, and a lifelong student, for many years to come.