Transforming Lives Through Music

Meet Three MacPhail Students Who are Pushing Boundaries and Having Fun

Our August issue is all about celebrating the little ones in our lives – whether they be furry pets or fun-loving kids. So, we teamed up with MacPhail Center for Music to showcase three outstanding students who are pushing boundaries and making a difference.

The mission of MacPhail is to transform lives and strengthen communities through inspirational music learning experiences. To learn more about its programs, visit

Eira Lindberg, age 10

What drew you to the violin?

I'm drawn to the violin because I feel at ease playing pieces and communicating through music in front of others, something that doesn't come as naturally in other areas of my life. Expressing myself through music feels more comfortable to me.

What has been your favorite part about studying at MacPhail?

My favorite part about studying at MacPhail is the long-lasting relationships I've built with teachers and fellow students. MacPhail was my first school. I started the Sing, Play, Learn Program at MacPhail when I was just 9 months old. The global community of teachers at MacPhail and my dedicated, talented peers consistently inspire me to practice more and strive for excellence. I am grateful for the ensemble opportunities with them.

Mom, Jessica Nagel and June Nnebedum, age 19 months

What drew you to the SPL program? 

We were drawn to the SPL program because I knew it would be a great way for June to be involved in a group with peers her age and for her to have a variety of music experiences that were all geared to her developmental stage. We have loved our SPL teachers. They are great at engaging the kids, getting on their level, and even going with the flow by adapting activities depending on what the group needs that day. Of course, June loves the songs too.

What has been your favorite part about learning at MacPhail? 

I think our favorite part is the community feel of the classes. It's been fun to get to know the other families and so great for June to learn from her peers. I think she's been more confident trying new gross motor movements after seeing other kids in class do big movements when dancing.

Roland Bartels, age 18

What drew you to electronic music?

I started off making beats for my friends to rap on in 6th grade. It was honestly really cheesy, but I found that it was incredibly fun to be able to make something from a blank “canvas.” Since then, that’s what I love about it. With electronic music especially, there are tools to shape sounds into things people have never heard before. Of course, making random sounds doesn’t always sound good. There’s this balancing act between a sort of chaotic creativity and familiar sounds. For example, I play the viola and like to Auto-Tune it for this really cool effect that is both familiar and something we don’t hear very often.

What inspires you?

On a broad scale, my life experiences inspire me to capture the sound of what I’ve felt and thought. It’s very hard to describe thoughts and feelings and how they come about, but music in general is a great way to capture these abstract things.

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