CELEBRATE MUSIC and JOHANNA!
apex’s San Francisco Area Director, Jane Smith, reports on one apex participant’s experience with her family and volunteering in the Bay area:
I work with many amazing professional au pairs who use their talents to enhance an American family. This week something special is happening in Oakland with one of our professional au pairs. Johanna Dittmar will perform in the Oakland Civic Orchestra on Sunday, January 22.
Meet Johanna Dittmar – Johanna is a Speech Therapist from Germany. She became part of a family in Oakland, California in the summer of 2016. Her family adores her! Her professional skills have enhanced the family. Her Oakland family raves about her kindness, friendliness and love. Johanna is also a member of the Oakland Civic Orchestra. The OCO is part of the cultural program of Oakland, a robust community orchestra in the Heart of Oakland.
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED IN MUSIC?
I was 4 when I started to play the violin.
WHO INSPIRED YOU?
My parents are both musicians and teachers at a music school, so I grew up with a lot of music around me. On one open door day at our local music school, I could choose an instrument which I wanted to learn and that was the violin.
WHAT INSTRUMENTS DO YOU PLAY? Right now, I only play the viola, but I also played the piano for 12 years, the violin for 6 years and the flute for 4 years.
HOW DID YOU FIND THE OAKLAND CIVIC ORCHESTRA? I found them via Google when I was back in Germany. I couldn’t imagine to stop playing for a year so that was one of the first things I looked up after I was matched. Lucky and love it
HOW DID YOU BECOME PART OF THE apex PROaupair FAMILY ?
I’m a speech therapist and finished school this summer. I knew quite early that I wanted to spend some time in the US after my Bachelor because the country fascinated me since a long time. When I found apex, I was really happy to get the opportunity to use my professional background to help children with special needs.
HOW DO YOU MIX MUSIC INTO YOUR PROFESSIONAL WORK WITH YOUR HOST CHILDREN? I share my love of music with my host children. I like to sing songs with them. We make music on different percussion instruments that we have at home or drum on different surfaces inside and outside. Music is everywhere!
Come see Johanna on Sunday, January 22 at 4pm. The apex PROaupair community will be there to support her!
We are proud of Johanna!
WHAT IS THE OAKLAND CIVIC ORCHESTRA?
The Oakland Civic Orchestra is in its 25th season, performing in the heart of Oakland, for the heart of Oakland. An established East Bay institution, the orchestra is comprised of over 50 dedicated adult musicians who gather to share in the joy and magic of music-making, offering free concerts to the community. Committed also to encouraging new generations of musicians, the Oakland Civic Orchestra provides performance opportunities for young instrumentalists, aspiring conductors and budding composers from throughout the region. OCO’s concert home is Lake Merritt United Methodist Church