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Incarceration & Musical Inspiration

November 26, 2014

This year, NewMusicBox has been running a series that invites two writers to pen weekly provocative short-form articles over the course of a month. At root, the idea is simply to have columnists rotate more frequently, so there are more voices and perspectives on NewMusicBox. For the month of November, NewMusicBox had the pleasure of working with columnist Julia Adolphe. Over the course of four weeks, Julia recounted her life-changing experience of teaching music to inmates at New York State’s all-male maximum security Auburn Correctional Facility, as part of the Cornell Prison Education Program.

Imagine a class where every student feels it is a privilege to learn, yearns to participate and be heard, and absorbs all of the material with passionate curiosity. Within the nightmare of incarceration flourished the dream of education, and Julia provides an unabashed, provocative insight into musical meaning and expression.

Some photos from the Cornell Prison Education Program at Auburn Correctional Facility:

Read Julia’s series:

  1. Incarceration and Musical Inspiration Part One: Meeting the Men at Auburn’s Maximum Security Prison
  2. Incarceration and Musical Inspiration Part Two: The Human Piano
  3. Incarceration and Musical Inspiration Part Three: A Live Concert in Prison
  4. Incarceration and Musical Inspiration Part Four: The Last Class