Jisoo Kim is “Crossing Strings” in the Community through Peer Mentorship

Here at Crossing Strings, I am teacher, friend, and mentor.

After having the chance to work with younger kids at a summer music festival, violinist and Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Jisoo Kim (Show 240, Boston, Massachusetts) was inspired to start a lesson program in her own neighborhood. She created Crossing Strings: a program for aspiring young violinists that meets once a week at the Ridgefield Public Library. With eight students currently involved, Jisoo has discovered a passion for teaching and mentoring kids in music. She’ll be heading to college this fall, but wants to continue her work wherever school and music may take her. Check out the following video to see the Crossing Strings students in action:

We asked Jisoo to share more with us about Crossing Strings…

FTT: What inspired you to create this program?

Jisoo: I decided to start my very own violin program because of a particular experience I had during the previous summer. I had worked as a mentor to the younger students that played string instruments (violin, viola, and cello) at a local summer music camp for community service hours.

It was really my first time in the position of a “teacher.” I had always been the student, listening and following my own teacher’s directions. Because the role had switched for me, it turned out to be quite intriguing. I was eager to develop my own program to gain more insight into the rewarding perspectives of being a teacher.

FTT: What was it like making the switch from “student” to “teacher”?

Jisoo: The first few weeks were truly a new learning experience for me. I had to take so many other factors into consideration in teaching – patience, responsibility, and creativity. Since I was not used to such a different atmosphere, I admit I was overwhelmed. It made me realize that I was much more familiar working independently while living the life of a musician. I had always considered myself primarily as a soloist. Other than participating in chamber music or orchestra, I never really took in…what it takes to work with others as a teacher. I was exposed to an entirely new light.

FTT: What do you believe it means to be an arts leader?

Jisoo: To me, being an arts leader is, in one word, incredible. As a violinist, I feel that Crossing Strings has not only affected my students but also me both musically and personally. When one of my students would successfully play through “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to the end and immediately look up with a proud, hopeful look, I would feel just as accomplished. In those moments, I realize the appreciation that I have for my very own teachers.

Program from the Final Concert with the Crossing Strings’ students

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