At a time when remembering the value of music education is so important, photographer Richard Rejino has released the book “What Music Means to Me” to celebrate all music students and teachers.
Rejino asked 44 musicians ranging from age 12 to mid- 70s to write essays about what music means to them and how it has changed their lives. He then photographed them in their own musical environments and put together this hardcover book.
“I’ve just seen it time and time again—people look at the book and are moved,” Rejino says. “I don’t take any credit for that; I was just the facilitator. The real messengers are the people in the book. It’s their words, and having that message get out even more through this NAMM award is, to me, the most gratifying and nice thing about it.”
The book also includes a DVD presentation of the contributors reading their essays aloud, set to a slideshow of the photographs. Rejino hopes both the book and DVD will help music teachers with recruiting and fundraising.
“[This project] raises the public consciousness beyond what we know of the research that kids’ grades get better,” Rejino says. “The book highlights the intangible things music offers. It teaches you discipline, perseverance, sanctuary; it can heal a person.”