Final Day, FLOTUS, and Friends

What a way to end a week. Woke up bright and early to stand in line at 7:15 am for the “Let Girls Learn” keynote with Michelle Obama, Sophia Bush, Missy Elliott, and Diane Warren, moderated by the one and only Queen Latifah. It was absolutely amazing and worth the wait (the keynote didn’t start until 11am). I could really speak about this panel, and more specifically its content, in an entire new post, which perhaps I will eventually, however, I will only provide some highlights and cool pictures for this post as I am simply too tired to elaborate on the effect of the panel in a coherent manner. Overall, the panel is an initiative by The President of the United States of America and the First Lady to allow girls in this country and globally access and ability to obtain the education they deserve. If girls become more educated, child marriage and trafficking decreases, girls have children later, have more stable jobs, are able to provide better for their families, and overall the economies of countries increases. This was a panel of powerful and fearless women, and they made it clear that this initiative is not only important among women, but among the men we work with. If men are not on board, listening to women, understanding the issues, and acting as advocates, the will not have the partnerships we need to truly create entire global change.

“We need you men, get it together” -First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama

While the women were talking about the need for education and equality, I was also inspired by the Secret Service at the panel–more specifically, the female Secret Service. I saw at least three kick-ass, strong, beautiful, and amazing women, standing around the room, protecting the First Lady of the United States at a conference about girls and education. I had to just think to myself–isn’t this the perfect example of female equality and empowerment? Here are three highly trained, intelligent, and agile women doing “a man’s job,” with little recognition other than the role they are playing to providing safety. That is inspiring to me. Those Secret Services ladies were inspiring, and I wanted to be them–the hidden roles of amazing women–as much as I wanted to be in a more public role of female empowerment. 

And as to the question about Michelle Obama running for President? She couldn’t have said it better–I believe her statement is a real testament to her character and her realization that in order to provide strength and change throughout the world, she needs to first show that in her own household.

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“No. And here’s why, I’ve got two young people at home….and they’ve handled it with grace and poise…but enough. Enough.” -First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama

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For the rest of my day, I attended two very different but good panels. The first was on 3D printing in the music industry. They talked a bit about the technology in general, then some of its applications. The concept that I found most interesting was how printing different shapes could create new musical instruments based on the new acoustic medium. If different shapes and densities were used for a new sort of “guitar” those acoustic properties could create different tones, notes, etc. The other interesting concept was using a shape as a MIDI synthesizer, meaning any sort of shape could trigger MIDI sounds and become a new touchpad. The other bit of technology I found interesting and artsy. The device was attached to a man who could only see black and white, but was given this camera device–attached to his brain–that would put sound into his head based on different colors. Therefore, this man could literally hear color. This was incredibly interesting because they had a 3D printer model created of him with a working device attached to the 3D sculpture. The sculpture was installed at an art museum, and people could hold up different colors and the man would remotely hear different sounds.The other panel I went to was on Music Management. This was really relevant to my field, which was awesome, and had a panel full of incredibly experienced music managers. I thought the information all of them had to offer was relevant and very honest. They made it very clear that great music managers don’t happen overnight, and there is a lot of experience involved. Their number one piece of advice was “patience” which I thought was important because it shows that there is the need to enter into this business like a marathon–to work hard, persevere, and exhibit patience. It was exciting to hear experiences from the management field because it is something I would really enjoy pursuing, and it was also humbling because it showed me I still have a long way to go.

As a closing to our last day, the we closed our trade show booth and prepared to come back to reality. I had dinner again with some fellow CAM Music students and newfound friends, and feel peaceful tonight packing my things and writing my blog post. Overall it was an excellent day, I felt inspired by all the people and panels, and energized by the connections and friends I have made during my time here. 

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