Resonate brings Fargo’s vibrant musical community into rural ND schools

Fargo teen Joanna Lin is giving rural students access to high quality music education events with her organization Resonate.

Resonate hosts music master classes for students in rural towns. The organization has two primary goals: To inspire students to look for other musical opportunities of their own volition, and to expose them to the way professional musicians think.

“It’s meant to kind of bridge universities with high school or middle school,” Lin said.

The master classes follow a format in which an ensemble, usually quartet or quintet, from one of the local colleges’ music programs performs at a high school or middle school, then explains their interpretation of the piece or pieces they played, giving their student audiences a deeper understanding of how a high-level performance is achieved.

Lin is a music student herself who’s been involved in musical activities for much of her life. Recently, she realized how uncommon the degree of musical opportunity is in Fargo, given the three large collegiate music programs in the area, which breed a thriving music culture in the city.

“Coming from Fargo, I think I was a little bit insulated from the rest of North Dakota,” Lin said.

Lin was inspired to found Resonate by a trip she took to Washing, D.C. last summer with students from across North Dakota. During the trip, she recalls speaking to one other student about music involvement and realizing how different her smaller hometown was from Fargo as far as access to music goes.

“She’d never heard a string instrument live, ever,” Lin said. During the trip, she spoke to a number of other students with similar experiences.

In response, Lin decided to start Resonate.

Lin used experience with Young Entrepreneurs Academy to form a different business, which she has since ended, but she applies skills and principles from YEA to her work on Resonate.

“Some of the starting steps, which can really seem the most overwhelming at first, they just felt more natural,” Lin said. “They don’t really teach how to form a business in schools.”

Lin said she was probably inspired toward entrepreneurship by watching Shark Tank. She sees one of the keys to creating a business as making an idea unique and hard for others to reproduce.

“You have to find something that you don’t have to convince them to want it,” she said.

Resonate runs during the school year, so Lin is currently making goals for her next year of work with the organization.

“People have been actually a lot more supportive than I thought at the beginning,” she said.

For more information on Resonate, visit resonatetoday.org. 1 Million Cups Fargo takes place each Wednesday from 9:15-10:15 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park.

Austin Gerth