Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Louis-Pier Racicot of Music 4 Humans Is Helping To Change Our World
Be patient. — Starting a business is a very long process. I always wanted things to move very fast when I started this project. However, nothing was ever on time. The developing process took way longer than expected, which drained my energy. When I finally learned to take one day at a time, set some achievable goals, and look back at all the work we had done rather than what we still had to do, my life changed for the best.
As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”,I had the pleasure of interviewing Louis-Pier Racicot.
Louis-Pier Racicot is an inspirational music mentor, accomplished touring musician, and the founder of Music 4 Humans. His international schooling platform uplifts music students worldwide by connecting them with instructors from the world’s top conservatories graduates to Cirque Du Soleil touring musicians to social media rising stars.
Touring the globe for several years has empowered him with opportunities to work with many talented artists from widely diverse backgrounds. Music 4 Humans is his way of giving back to the music community. Growing the music culture around the strength and brilliance of cultural diversity is his calling, and making quality music education available everywhere on the planet is what he does.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was very fortunate to grow up in a musical household. The main attraction in my parent’s living room was our old upright piano. My mom used to sit there every day and play for us. She passed along her passion to me, and since I had loved music for as long as I could remember, I built my career around it. I studied music performance in college and toured many years worldwide playing the violin.
Traveling and performing with amazing artists opened my eyes to a whole new world. I discovered so many inspiring cultures. It made me grow not only as a musician but as a human being. So, I created Music 4 Humans to share the knowledge I acquired through the years and for people to be able to experience a glimpse of what I had the chance to live. I want to help people develop their musical voices and discover our extraordinary world through music.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
It’s hard to choose only one story, but I will go with this one. Since I started this company, the most exciting thing has been the friendships and human connections I have made through this journey. Unlike other online learning platforms, I meet all the teachers and students who wish to participate in our community. It seems like all musicians know each other. We all share unique experiences and life stories.
Music is universal to all cultures around the planet, yet still such a small world. It made me realize the importance of this project and transformed my mission from making Music education available worldwide to connecting humanity through music. During my touring years, I had the opportunity to play music with people who didn’t speak English or French (my native language). It blew my mind that we could communicate, literally have a conversation, with our musical instruments. I wish everyone on this planet could experience it once in their life. The power of communication through music transcends any other language and is universal to humanity.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
A lot of funny things happen to me. As an artist working in the tech world, I often feel misunderstood though amusingly! When working with other musicians, you can use emotional words to explain what you are looking for. With techs, it’s a different story.
When I first started meeting with my developing team, I was always talking in very vague, open, and creative ways. The developers were very polite and never told me that what I told them didn’t make any sense in their world. Unfortunately, it started causing trouble while designing the website, and I think we went through almost 100 different designs until I was happy with the results. I finally understood after this that when I wanted something to be done, I had first to make it very clear in my mind, write it down on a piece of paper and look at it from every possible angle before passing it along to them.
Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?
When the pandemic started, I thought this worldwide health disaster would bring the world together, and once united, we could fight this thing as a powerful front. But unfortunately, I quickly realized that this was not the case and that people were rapidly dividing and feeling lonelier by the day.
Through my teaching, I was always able to bring joy into people’s lives, help them connect with each other, and channel their emotions into something beautiful and creative. We expand this idea with Music 4 Humans by providing free lessons for young aspiring musicians on social media. We create a new way for music professionals to monetize their passion in a fair market by promoting the value of music education. Ultimately, we empower our community with a music culture powered by the strength and beauty of diversity.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who has impacted or helped by your cause?
I recently got back in touch with Maxime Waked, a childhood friend. I was in Montreal, Canada, visiting my family for the holidays, and we bumped into each other by chance. Maxime and I grew up in a small town in Quebec, Canada. But I left the country several years ago to pursue my passion for music, while Maxime stayed in Canada and became a successful businessman. After reconnecting, we quickly realized we had a lot of common ambitions and decided to join our unique backgrounds to further the success of the Music 4 Humans.
After working and financing this business for over 2 years by myself, I finally had a partner. Together we are developing the Music 4 Humans’ platform to new heights and expanding our creative content strategy. I am so happy about Maxime’s support for Music 4 Humans. We are making music education accessible worldwide and building a brand that people can trust and relate to.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
1- Stop music education funding cuts. Learning music is such an essential element of children’s education. Playing music requires almost every part of your brain to work together. It principally involves your visual, auditory, and motor cortices. These brain exercises will benefit your music practice and empower you with those skills in other activities.
In a TED-Ed animation, Anita Collins illustrates how the brain benefits from playing music. “Playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout. Musicians also have higher levels of executive function — a category of interlinked tasks that includes planning, strategizing, and attention to detail, and requires simultaneous analysis of both cognitive and emotional aspects.”
We sometimes forget that we can train our brains as we do with our bodies. So, we should spend less time at the gym, and more time playing music!
2- Offering publicly funded music education for low-income families. Music change lives. Providing creative mediums to young people helps channel their emotions and keep their focus on something productive. In addition, music help teens cope with difficult situations such as bullying, peer pressure, substance abuse, and academic pressure. Music is an integral part of American culture and lifestyle, and it should be accessible to anyone no matter their social status.
3- Have music practice rooms in community centers. I grew up in a small town close to Montreal, Canada, and we had a community center where my friends and I would go every day to play music together. Thanks to this, we had a safe space to develop our creativity, meet other musicians and even record our own music.
As the western culture has been over commercializing the music industry, learning music often feels like a superfluity or something only a few can do. However, music education is essential and universal to humanity, and my goal is to bring this back to our primary educational systems, such as language, math, and science.
With that in mind, I created Music 4 Humans to expand our community’s knowledge of the strength and beauty of cultural diversity. Making music discovery and education accessible the world over is what we do.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
For my birthday last year, my parents offered me this funny painting of Snoopy, followed by Woodstock, and it says, “Be the leader you would follow.”. In a nutshell, this is how I define leadership.
A good leader can gather talented people together and bring the best out of them. Accepts when he makes a mistake, learns from it, and grows every day. Leadership is all about being open-minded and expanding your horizons as you know more. Great leaders never stop learning.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
To be honest, not knowing much about starting a business is why I dared to get started in the first place. If I knew too much, I feel that I might have been scared to jump into this endless adventure in the first place. So here are some of the best pieces of advice I can share with aspiring business owners.
Starting a business is a very long process. I always wanted things to move very fast when I started this project. However, nothing was ever on time. The developing process took way longer than expected, which drained my energy. When I finally learned to take one day at a time, set some achievable goals, and look back at all the work we had done rather than what we still had to do, my life changed for the best.
2- Set realistic goals and expectations.
I am a very ambitious person with probably too many ideas and goals. The only problem with this is that I didn’t know where to stop, draw the line, and set my thoughts in order of priority. Having mentors and a team of trusted people around you will make a tremendous difference in this process. This leads me to my next point.
3-Surround yourself with people you trust.
When I say people you trust, I do not mean agreeable people who will tell you everything you do is excellent. Quite the opposite, you need people that will challenge you, make you rethink everything, and triple-check every little detail of your work. Of course, it’s hard when people challenge your ideas, but it is a lot harder to realize you should have done many things differently when it’s already too late.
4- Don’t be afraid to change your plan.
Always remember this, the most important is the goal, not the plan! You may have a very detailed plan for achieving your goals, but life doesn’t quite work according to our schemes. My wife always used to say, “If you want to make God laugh, make plans.” Now if finally get it! Starting a business is a long journey, and life gets in the way. You might have to adjust your trajectory along the way, but it doesn’t matter as long as you keep going.
5- Work on your weaknesses.
Most people are afraid of criticism, but you have to use those to your advantage as a business owner. There is a lot of competition out there, and the best way to get better at something you do is to know what you do wrong, not only what you do best.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Music unites the world through its vast diversity. It is a universal language for all humankind. Therefore, I believe that creating a well-funded music education program backed by a national belief in the value of music education is essential for our communities to thrive. It would expand people’s interest in learning more about different cultures and unite them creatively and beautifully.
The cost of private music education is the most significant barrier. This means that instrumental music has become something only a few can afford. Unfortunately, most American families cannot offer good music education to their children. To address this issue, we need to get back to a properly funded system of instrumental tuition that is part of the curriculum and run by the Department for Education.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Don’t compare yourself with other people; compare yourself with who you were yesterday. — Jordan Peterson
I have a pretty unusual background. I started playing the violin late and had to work very hard to achieve my dreams. It is extremely easy to find someone better than you in virtually anything in the digitalized world we live in now. We can compare ourselves to countless successful people on social media, and it has become effortless to think that victory is just out of our reach.
To be honest, I still compare myself to other people because I believe it is part of my nature. I am a competitive person, and I like to learn from others that are better than me at what I do. Nonetheless, the person I like the most competing with is myself. So, when Dr. Peterson says, “Don’t compare yourself with other people; compare yourself with who you were yesterday.” his message means to me to stop looking for instant gratification, learn from the success of others instead of being resentful, and keep working hard every day as life is a heck of a journey.
By comparing myself to who I was yesterday, I can be proud of my progress, learn from my mistakes, and get some energy out of it rather than be discouraged by all the work lying ahead. With this in mind, I can wake up every day and attempt to be a better version of who I was yesterday.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
- Doctor Jordan Peterson
I was in the Australian outback 500 miles away from the nearest town when my wife and I had the surprise that we were going to become parents. We had no actual plans to establish anywhere. My wife is American, I am Canadian, and we didn’t start the immigration process in either country. Our lives instantly changed from being nomad musicians/artists with no real responsibility to complete chaos. We had to sell everything we had in Australia, choose a country to move to, and make the best decisions possible for the unforeseen future of our family to be.
I started reading Dr. Peterson’s book “12 rules for life, an antidote to chaos,” and it became a guide for me. It made me understand on a deeper level that chaotic moments in life are an opportunity from which you can create a new, better version of yourself. My daughter was born on December 10th, 2019, and just a few weeks later, I was putting down my first draft of what would become Music 4 Humans. If I had the opportunity to have a private breakfast or lunch with Doctor Peterson, I would give him first all my gratitude and have a deep conversation about the similarities between a beautifully composed symphony and a meaningful life.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can connect with me on LinkedIn and follow us @music4human on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Tik Tok. We offer free short music lessons for diverse instruments and promote a fantastic community of musicians and music enthusiasts. You can learn more about Music 4 Humans and see our incredible community of instructors on music4humans.com.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!
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