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Stories from the Field
Stories from the Field

The Power of Experimentation


One of the great things that we really value about our programs at Million Little is that they are truly directed by our students' interests. Whatever interests our students want to pursue we are there to help support them in their endeavors.

Shortly after joining our program, when we asked It’s Alive what things he was interested in, he told us, “I’m just trying out as many new things as I can and see what sticks.” In addition to our Arts program, he is enrolled in a number of other programs outside, including cooking, fashion, and even running. Whatever the program might be, It’s Alive is willing to give it a try because he knows that if he doesn’t give something a chance, he’ll never know if he’s interested in it or not.

But a willingness to experiment is not only a life philosophy for him, it’s also evident in his arts practice as well. In our program, It’s Alive has taken a liking to music. On his first day, he saw another of our students recording a beat using one of our launchpad controllers and said, “What’s that? Can I try?” A phrase that encapsulates much of who he is as an individual. Ever since, he has become one of our regulars, sitting diligently in front of the computer experimenting with the equipment. He adores strange and unconventional sounds, things that set his music apart from others. What might be off-putting to some is intriguing to him, and even when it’s not, the experiment is still worthwhile. He’s discovering what he likes.

Each of our students brings something new and unique to our program. Our hope at Million Little is that by cultivating an environment where students can feel free and open to experiment, they can access interests and strengths that they never knew they had. Over time, we believe that we can show them a naturally occurring curiosity that already exists inside of them. A curiosity that doesn’t just come to life when they engage creatively in our program, but a curiosity that opens all of the possibilities before them. Something that shows them, no matter how they feel now, they are not stuck. That they can make significant changes in their lives if they want it. A little willingness to try something new goes a long way.