Maxime looking out the window

Maxime's HeadshotMy CEL experiences have shaped me into who I am, what I am doing academically and professionally, and have catalyzed a growing social awareness as a student, educator, musician, community worker, and person. I have participated in transformative CEL opportunities throughout both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music Education at Western University. Most significantly, I worked in Rwanda in 2016 through Dr. Henri Boyi’s course, went to Guatemala with the Music Education department in 2017, and did a placement at the El Sistema Aeolian music program in London, Ontario, which propelled me towards volunteering there and eventually coordinating the program. 

Throughout the intercultural community engagements, I discovered deeper layers of understanding...

The international CEL experiences, in particular, exposed me to a variety of new perspectives on ways of being and living that have not only enriched my own understandings but have underlined the importance of valuing various cultural perspectives to co-exist and thrive. Throughout the intercultural community engagements, I discovered deeper layers of understanding of my own positionality through critical self-reflection as well as insight into the problematics of prevalent power dynamics at play in CEL interactions. Meanwhile, I was also valuing the beauties of the different cultures and communities through collaborative learning and engagements which highlighted a fundamental principle of CEL, reciprocity. Finally, I learned through my CEL experiences to value failure as a critical part of the learning process. To hit the target, you have to first miss the target. 

I have been incredibly fortunate to participate in CEL experiences through Western and I wholeheartedly recommend everyone to engage with community in this way. It is sure to be transformative.