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The Music Project

The Healing Power of Music

An initiative inspired by El Sistema of Venezuela, The Music Project in Sri Lanka aims to change the life trajectory of children through music. The organization uses music as the link language to work with schools in the North and South, which aspires to build orchestral communities by providing links, networks and social cohesion

At present the two projects are located in Kurunegala and Thunukkai, and work through after-school clubs at 6 schools for children of grades 4, 5 and 6. The Music Project currently has 330 children on the programme in Kurunegala and 175 children in Thunukkai. The Project has been working with the following schools for more two years: Jayashanka Kanishta Vidyalaya, Lakdas De Mel College, and Pothubowa MV in Kurunegala, and Mallavi Central College and Yohapuram MV in Thunukkai, Mullaitivu.

The children are progressing well with adequate fluency for violin and have just commenced percussion and brass. Additionally, they teach the Recorder which is the core instrument for each child and is supplied with their own instrument.

The methodology used to teach the children is the Suzuki method and is based on the mother tongue approach to language acquisition, which endorses immersion, strong listening skills, and frequent practice, leading to fluency and mastery of the instrument. The children are encouraged to perform, giving them a strong sense of confidence, self-esteem, and tremendous pride in their achievements. The programme largely uses western music for the range of orchestral instruments and repertoire.

A dedicated team of music teachers, who are graduates of the BA in Performing Arts of Colombo University, is based in Kurunegala and Mullaitivu. The Music Project also has international graduates working on a voluntary basis to enrich the programme, to share knowledge among the teaching staff, and develop strong global links.

The programme is delivered in English and has an English lesson component to ensure access to repertoire and orchestral participation. English functions as the link language between the project of the North and South.

The proceeds from donations will help to brighten a child's life, giving hope and a positive future through music. The children have experienced many performance opportunities at the Jaffna Music Festival, The British School in Colombo and the BBC Our World. The immediate needs are brass and woodwind, cellos and violins and Rs. 15,000 will pay for music lessons for one child for an entire year. This is just a glimpse of how you could contribute towards making a difference and enhancing music provision for the children.