THE MUSIC PROJECT
Building Social Cohension between Communities with Yamaha Music Centre
The universal language of music, as the most abstract of all arts can transcend social boundaries between communities and societies. Beginning at birth, the sense of hearing plays a crucial role in building and developing enhanced capabilities and social constructs. Studies show that listening to music at a very young age increases brain activity and enhances the intellectuality of a child, a study that’s often practiced in the youth of today. The Yamaha Music Centre in collaboration with The Music Project has for several years now worked towards taking music to more rural parts of the island, as an initiative aimed at enhancing the lives of disadvantaged and disenfranchised youth. This project strives with a vision of bringing children and youth, together through music while creating platforms for learning, employment, cultural exchange, social development and leadership development. The idea is that music transcends many differences and cultivates innovation.
A student’s initiation into The Music Project begins with an introduction to the Yamaha recorder, which has been universally and internationally recognised as the ideal starter instrument for music education. Throughout the world the recorder is introduced to young children as it is easy to grasp and provides ready access to music, is potable and accommodates whole group teaching.
The teaching methodology for The Music Project is the tried and tested Suzuki methodology rooted in the mother tongue approach to language learning; mastery of the ‘language’ first followed by reading and theory after fluency. Likewise the students of The Music Project are immersed in music leading to a fluent grasp of the recorder. The primary focus of this curriculum is mastery of the instrument at the outset and only then is music theory and notation gradually introduced to the student. This allows for a firmer grasp of fundamentals, with greater interaction and participation, ensuring the lessons learned are more engaging and effective. As an aside to the main curriculum English is also taught to students, which helps them better grasp music theory and stands them in good stead for their journey ahead.
Yamaha implements the idea and practice of social cohesion through the distinct use of a simple tool such as the Yamaha recorder. It also allows students to discover their musical strengths and hone their innate skills, with over 3500 students and 120 music teachers actively participating in the programme throughout the island; in regions such as Mullaitivu, Kurunegala, Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee. The project includes many teaching aids including essentails such as CDs which complement the teaching manual which was developed by music specialist, trainers, teachers and other involved personnel.
The Yamaha recorder comes as an instrument that is light, portable, easy to manage and has the ability to make learning straightforward yet interesting. This assists the young enthusiasts as they grasp the basics and then progress easily to the next stage of learning and development.
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