22 September 2012

The Gift of Music for Children

Today is a good day for spreading the benefits of music to children! My organisation, CHW, is having a "coffee and cash-in" event this afternoon, to raise money for a children's music therapy project we are supporting in Argentina. When planning this, I didn't know that it was also Playing for Change Day, an initiative started by the Playing for Change Foundation (PFCF). It is a day of action, using music to create positive social change. Musicians will play at events all over the world, and bring music into the lives of young people. You can see a list of the events, or watch some shows online, here.

A while ago, I wrote about the benefits of music for children and it was great to learn about PFCF's work. The PFCF states that it is "dedicated to the fundamental idea that peace and change are possible through the language of music." It funds music programmes in different countries and aims to ensure that anyone with the desire to receive a music education has the opportunity to do so. The children from one of the programmes it set up, Ntonga Music School. in the township Gugulethu, near Cape Town, will be performing this afternoon. Some of my friends in Cape Town are going to support them, and I wish I could be there to hear them play too!

Closer to home, I attended the event, "A Moment's Peace" in London, over the summer. Children and young people from different choirs all sang together. The World Heart Beat Music Academy, in London, provided them with an environment to get together and rehearse for the event. On its website, it is stated that the Academy "envisions a world where music as a universal form of communication, bridges cultural, political, economic and linguistic barriers." This is another great project, showing how music can create positive social change.

I have seen how music can have such a good impact on children's live through my work in Romania too. One organisation CHW supports there, FAST, runs a music project for Roma children. It allows Roma children and youth to fight against discrimination by showcasing their musical ability to the community. I have been to some of the performances by the children who are a part of FAST's music project and they were amazing! The children gained confidence from being part of the project and were able to develop their musical talent. It was something for them to work towards and be proud of.

The project CHW is currently fundraising for in Argentina has a different aim. We are working with Talleres Apadro, an organisation which runs a rehabilitation centre. The children that attend have various disabilities and other special needs. The staff there know how much music therapy will benefit these children and help give them space to express themselves. I really hope we are able to reach our aim of £2220 to help with their project. If you have any ideas for fundraising, or want to help out, please do get in touch.

Room for the Project!
During my last trip to Argentina, the staff at Talleres Apadro showed me
this room, where they want to hold their music therapy programme. I hope we can
fill it with instruments and all the resources they need!

You can follow our progress with fundraising for the music therapy project here:

I must go and attend our fundraiser for the music therapy project now! I am wishing all the best to those taking part in performances around the world for Playing for Change Day!

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