Enriching Lives though Music: A Conversation with Community-Embedded Musician Lindsey Baggett on DeLUXE K!ds In Harmony

Enriching Lives though Music: A Conversation with Community-Embedded Musician Lindsey Baggett on DeLUXE K!ds In Harmony

The Houston Symphony's DeLUXE K!ds In Harmony program has wrapped up its second year, marking another successful year of providing free violin training to elementary school students in Houston’s 5th Ward. In partnership with the Fifth Ward Cultural Art District’s DeLUXE Theater and American Festival of the Arts (AFA), this program—led by the Symphony’s dedicated Community-Embedded Musicians (CEM)—enriches students’ lives through music education and helps them develop teamwork and leadership skills, build relationships, and feel a sense of pride and belonging to a musical community. This year, the Symphony welcomed Lindsey Baggett (violin) as the newest addition to our team of CEMs and as a DeLUXE K!ds In Harmony instructor. We sat down with Lindsey to talk about her first year instructing students in this industry-leading program.

What has it been like working with fellow Houston Symphony CEMs Rainel Joubert and David Connor, so far?

Rainel and David welcomed me with open arms and genuine enthusiasm. They made me feel valued from day one. They provide support, open communication, and a positive work environment. I have learned so much from their expertise. It is easy and enjoyable to collaborate with both Rainel and David, and I look forward to more great experiences as colleagues.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of teaching violin to DeLUXE K!ds In Harmony students?

The most rewarding aspect of teaching violin to the DeLUXE K!ds In Harmony students is seeing them perform at their concerts. They are excited, focused, and proud of the work they did to get to that point. It makes me happy to see them succeed.

How do you approach engaging young students with varying levels of musical experience?

Engaging students of varying musical experience requires creativity, and the ability to teach a concept in many different ways. We try to tailor our teaching to their individual needs and learning styles as much as we can. We use a wide range of resources, including sheet music, videos, apps, recordings, and more. We often have more advanced students help the beginning students for support, as well as offering more challenging activities to those with more experience. Flexibility is key while teaching students of different skill levels.

Can you share a memorable experience or breakthrough moment you had with a student or the class during this past year?

There have been many memorable experiences this past year, but seeing a student’s face light up as they finally conquer a challenging concept is priceless.

DeLUXE K!ds In Harmony aims to be more than just a music program—it’s a community. Can you discuss any community building or family engagement activities the DeLUXE K!ds students take part in?

The students in our program are from 11 different schools, so it is important to us to give them opportunities to build community.
During rehearsals, we like to play games and provide activities that help them get to know each other better.

We have brought the students and their families to Jones Hall several times, both to see a [Symphony] concert and to watch their children perform in the lobby.

The students also recently performed at the Lyons Ave Renaissance Festival, which is an event in their Fifth Ward community. We have other plans in the works for more social events, as well as performances.

How has learning music had an impact on the students’ educational and social development?

I have definitely seen the positive impact that music education has had on our students. Socially, they have learned about collaboration and teamwork as ways to work toward a common goal. Performing on the violin has boosted their confidence, especially since they work hard to learn challenging repertoire. We encourage them to explore their creativity, and some students are even improvising.

Going forward, what are your hopes for the DeLUXE K!ds students as they continue their musical journey in this program?

My hope for the students is that they can continue to use music as an outlet for expression, and that they build on their love for music and the arts through this program. I also hope they gain even more confidence as they progress.

DeLUXE K!ds In Harmony is a part of the Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement initiatives. The Houston Symphony believes that all students should have access to quality music education programs. If you’d like to support DeLUXE K!ds In Harmony or our other Education and Community Engagement initiatives, visit houstonsymphony.com/donate.

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