With the new program plan worked out by the Playing For Change Foundation (PFCF) team, we're going to initiate and encourage our female students to play more traditional instruments. The idea of girls playing traditional instruments is strange and new for the community of Kirina, but not forbidden. We're also excited to introduce songwriting and song creation to all of our students.
Our Teachers, Bobo Keita, the Djembé teacher, Karounga Diabaté, the Balafon (Xylophone) teacher, Ladji Diabaté, the Kora teacher, Mountaga Sissoko, the Taman (talking drum) and Ngoni (traditional guitar) teacher, Oumou Mariko, the dance and song teacher and hopefully other guest musicians from other parts of Mali will be here to help.
"We are Playing for Change"
"My father didn't want me to attend the music school at the very beginning but when he saw me playing here, he always encourages me to come. I'm very happy when I play with my friends and brothers here."
Everyone at the Playing For Change Foundation is so proud of our students, including Soma Kane. Soma has shown great courage and persistence in his music lessons. He has also used music to educate his family about its importance in his life. Please vist www.playingforchange.org and https://www.facebook.com/PlayingForChangeFoundation?fref=ts to learn more about Soma and all of the incredible children participating in Playing For Change Foundation programs around the world.
Kirina has recently experienced a tremendous change for the daily life of the community. The village has been offered more than 300 solar panels (photovoltaic panels) through the Malian government. The initiative is the result of the cooperation between the Chinese and the Malian governments. The village of Kirina has been chosen for this very special gift among thousands of villages in Mali. Many other villages in the country are also without electricity so we are thrilled to have been chosen among these other places.
The "streets" of the village are lit every evening until 1am and dozens of families now have light in their homes at night as every solar panel is connected to a battery, a converter and a power strip, which allows for the use of lamps, radios, or any other electric devices in their home. This gift has been received with the blessing of the community, and a great deal of work has been done to inform all the community members on how to use the installations properly. A group of people has also been trained on how to maintain the installations. The music school also received a panel, a battery and a converter, which will allow us to organize special events at the school and introduce electronic instruments to it in the future.
This is a tremendous change for the village, and we believe it is going to make for a more comfortable everyday life, even if Kirina, like many other villages in Africa, still needs better access to clean water, alphabetization and education. This is an ongoing struggle, and your support is the only way we can continue to bring positive change through music education to areas such as Kirina, Mali.
Meet Seydou Koné, percussion teacher at l'Ecole de Musique de Kirina. Seydou Koné is a master djembé player who lives in a village located outside of Kirina. He assists Mahamadou Diabaté with the percussion classes, and leads the percussion band that plays for each dance class at the school. Twice a week, Seydou rides 9 miles on his bike to teach at the school and share his knowledge with our students. His enthusiastic and creative teaching style is a joy to the students, as attendance is through the roof - very few students miss their djembé class. He is a valuable and exceptional member of both the program team in Kirina, Mali and the PFC family.
The Playing For Change Foundation celebrated our second annual PFC Day on September 22.
PFC Day is a global day of action where musicians of all varieties perform on stages, cafés, city squares, and street corners worldwide and raise money to bring music into the lives of young people.Proceeds raised will support the work of the Playing For Change Foundation to help create music programs, strengthen music and arts education, support teachers and performances, purchase instruments, and connect schools to promote cross-cultural learning and conflict resolution.
Mali's Independence Day was also September 22. Our own PFCF students at the Kirina music school gathered to celebrate and share their talents, even in the face of the political turmoil currently happening in the country. Our Playing For Change Foundation program coordinator for Africa, Francois Viguie had this to say about the PFC Day event in Kirina, "people from 12 villages around Kirina have been invited and we're expecting something powerful, that will have a special meaning due to the terrible situation in the North of Mali".
In New York City, likeminded people gathered for a special "Musicians for Mali" benefit concert to show solidarity and support. Read more here: http://playingforchangeday.org/show/musicians-for-mali-concert-benefit.
We will have more to share from one of teachers and administrators, Seydou very soon!
Thank you for your contiued support of l'Ecole de Musique de Kirina and the Playing For Change Foundation!
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