Violist Wesley Dyring Talks About Giving Back To The Community

Wesley Dyring, a member of the Seattle Symphony viola section, believes that it is essential to give back to the community in order to create a better world. Through his violin and viola teaching near his home in Lynnwood, he has the opportunity to affect the lives of children, youth and adults who come weekly into his studio for instruction. For Wes, teaching music is not merely the means to help students enjoy music and learn to play the instrument; it allows him to help them shape their own attitudes, thinking, discipline and problem-solving ability. "I love to participate in the process of transformation," says Wes. "Working with young kids especially is so satisfying, since their minds are so open and they have so much enthusiasm. Guiding my students toward those 'Aha!' moments, seeing their faces light up and hearing the results gives me so much energy! I feel that I gain so much from teaching that my performing would not be the same without it. I really learn from my kids."

Working in the Seattle Symphony is a source of joy for Wes on many levels. For him, one of these satisfactions is the level of diversity within the orchestra. "Working with my colleagues who come from so many different places just feels right to me," says Wes. He feels that one of the benefits of his job is to be able to hear several different languages backstage. "The diversity of our musicians is one of our strengths that enable us to reach out to the community and engage."

Wes is also active in giving to the community in another way. He is active in the Lynnwood Bahá'í Community and has served on its local governing council for the past eighteen years, much of that time as elected Secretary. Since the majority of the members of the Lynnwood community are immigrants from Iran or have escaped the persecution of the Bahá'ís there, he gets plenty of intercultural experience. Wes says, "I grew up with an intercultural perspective. My mom grew up in Africa and other family members lived around the world. Having learned Spanish from living in Chile and later from my Colombian wife, I feel right at home with listening to people speaking to each other in their native language. I have gotten to the point that I can make correct interjections in English into a conversation that my Persian friends are having in Farsi, much to their surprise!"
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