This project supports underpriviledged Vietnamese youth with weekly music and string ensemble lessons. Each student receives a violin or cello and takes lessons after school, 2-3 days a week. On the weekends the students come together to play as a community ensemble. This project creates a place for kids to be mentored, to share their love of music, and create long lasting friendships. Recently we have added a guitar class for girls.
Although Vietnam has been gaining in wealth over the past decade, and made gains in social programs, these improvements have occurred in the larger cities among a small number of the population, and still remain outside the realm of the very poor. Approximately 75% of the population continues to live in poverty. Although many children go to school, music programs are only available to the wealthy. Students living in poor areas cannot afford musical instruments or instruction.
We work with underprivileged youth in the provinces of Khanh Hoa and Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam to provide after school music and art classes, providing a place for students to come together and be part of a supportive community. Each student receives a stringed instrument and lessons. We also provide aid as needed for our students and families, by paying the tuition fees to their local schools through high school and college as needed.
Our program helps to develop a positive self-image, leadership skills, and a sense of community for our students. Through surveys of our students and their parents, we have seen the students create unique support among themselves and teachers. Their parents have told us how our program gives the students something to do, keeping them out of trouble, and how their kids have become more ambitious and confident overall.