Matt Kaplan was a music intern in Barcelona, Spain and wrote a series of blog posts for us while he was there. To see the rest of the series, go here.
Now that I am back in New York City, my trip to Spain almost seems like a dream. I know it all happened, but for some reason it just doesn’t feel real. Those three months in Barcelona flew by faster than I could have possibly imagined.
My internship was at the Shine School of Music in Barcelona and it couldn’t have been a better fit. During my time at Shine my responsibilities included administration tasks and teaching guitar lessons at the school. The first project given to me after I arrived was helping the school improve its internal operations i.e. billing, calendar organization, information sync, etc. I also learned how to work the front of the school which included interacting with customers, answering calls, showing products, and helping out with any immediate issues from teachers or students.
Later on, as I became accustomed to everything, I was able to begin teaching guitar lessons to a few students. I loved working with kids and adults from Barcelona; it really felt good to know that I was bringing my skill set from the U.S. to engage with local people through music. The teaching itself was probably my biggest accomplishment there, partly because I am still learning Spanish. It was a truly humbling experience to be able to work uncomfortably in a field I would otherwise be comfortable in due to something as simple as a language barrier. There is no better way to learn than to dive in, make mistakes, laugh it off, and persist.
</a >Whenever I had any downtime at the school, I was responsible for generating blog content for their website and social media platforms. I was able to write and learn about useful music apps, research information on the Barcelona open mic music scene, start up an Instagram page, and much more. Before arriving to Barcelona I had never written for any blog before so this again was a shot at something new.
I have met some incredible musicians and people over at the Shine School of Music. I can’t thank them enough for their kindness and patience with me. I was happy to receive an offer for more work at Shine should I choose to return to Spain sometime in the future. Currently, I continue to work for Shine giving Skype lessons from my Harlem apartment. I am extremely grateful for the experience I was able to gain during my time in Spain and even more so for the amazing people I was able to meet and the music we were able to make together.