|Musicians perform for local students|
|Friday, 04 June 2010 15:21|
Getting more than 100 students to sit quietly in an auditorium and listen to classical music would seem like an almost impossible task, but for seven musicians performing in this year’s Amanyara Music Festival, it was child’s play.
During their six-day visit to the Turks and Caicos Islands, these seven world renowned musicians are not spending their free time sipping rum punch at the beach, but rather sharing their music and talents with hundreds of local students. Starting with the Clement Howell High School in Blue Hills, the performers put on one-hour musical workshops for students across the island of Providenciales.
The workshops included teaching the students about Afro-Cuban beats, introducing them to the various instruments and concluding by allowing the children the chance to compose their own music inspired by Latin Jazz.
Larisa Gelman, bassoonist and director of Educational Outreach at the 92nd Street Y in New York, described to the children the origins of the clave rhythm and its eventual spread all across the Caribbean and parts of South America, including the Turks and Caicos. “Clave rhythms are incorporated into many cultures. The clave pattern holds the rhythm together in Afro-Cuban music,” she explained.
The children enjoyed hearing the music of Paquito D’Rivera, Astor Piazzolla and Ignacio Cervantes. Some children were invited onto the stage to play clave rhythm using small wooden instruments. The children clapped, snapped and interacted with the musicians, especially excited when they played a recent hit from Coldplay showcasing classical music instruments.
One Clement Howell student who recently started playing the violin used the opportunity to ask the professionals for some tips on how to hold the instrument better and play certain notes. “This was the first time I heard a violin live,” Dorald Aristile told the fp. “It was really a great opportunity.”
In total, the group presented the program to six schools and a group from the Edward Garland Youth Center, all thanks to the Amanyara resort which brought the musicians to the island and shared them with the children.
“We are so pleased the children enjoyed the workshops,” said Amanyara co-general manager Tania Rydon. “It is important to us to share their amazing talent with the children and the local community.”
Amanyara brought the musicians to Providenciales to perform several concerts for hotel guests, as well as local residents who do not often have the opportunity to enjoy such musical cultural events on island.
Proceeds from one of the events will also be donated to the Oseta Jolly music program. Previous donations from Amanyara have allowed the school to buy several instruments, helping them with their goal of creating a meaningful music program.
Principal of the Oseta Jolly Primary School, Rachel Hanfield, said she was very grateful for the donations which have supported bringing music into the school. “The program is going very, very well, and we are so excited to have a new music teacher. Even though he has only been here a few weeks, we have seen such wonderful progress,” she said.
Music teacher Brentford Hanfield has joined the school, giving life to the program and hope to the children who he says are so anxious to learn about music. “We have great expectations for the program and the children,” he explained.
He has already started a small band with the students and has aspirations of starting a brass band by December. “We are only limited by the instruments available to us at the moment,” he explained. The school is hoping to get more instruments for the early childhood program such as xylophones, a lap harp and acoustic guitars.
“This is the perfect age for children to start learning how to play instruments,” he says, emphasizing his hopes for getting more children involved in music.
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