There are some days I feel I am watching a country coming alive.
Cambodia has been rapidly rebuilding from the genocides in the 70’s over the past several decades, and it seems the farther it comes, the more the growth compounds upon itself. But the era I am witnessing right now is one in which I believe Cambodian arts, culture and pride are about to boil over in a cultural revolution and reawakening.
The time is right. Basic needs are being secured, personal incomes are rising and foreign investment is pouring in. Who knew that our opportunity to come teach music would fall at literally the perfect time?
Music is so much more than just fun. On our campus, we are hoping to instill the values of creativity, originality and free-thought.
The relationship between the arts and the rise of a potential “Cambodian renaissance” of sorts is fascinating to observe because it has a cause and effect relationship in both directions. Music and the arts foster free-thinking and creative problem solving which is simply a missing characteristic in this culture presently-but fosters the continuing development of the country, as well as steps towards political change, capitalism and democratic tendencies; but the continuing development of this country at large is also what allows people to start turning their attention and time to the arts, music and learning these new creative thinking patterns.
It is a very exciting time to be living in this incredible country, and an even more exciting time to be teaching music in this country.
Watching these phenomenons shift in from of my eyes is truly breathtaking.