Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth

by Rock-Paper-Scissors Children's Fund
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Community Music Program for Vietnamese Youth
Han and her new bike!
Han and her new bike!

Dear Friends,

At the end of this week, Vietnam will begin its week-long holiday to celebrate Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. Tet is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture, and carries love and hope; signifies family and friend kinship; and promises a better year ahead. The year that my family lived in Vietnam, we were able to celebrate Tet there and it is one of our most memorable experiences. This week our students are celebrating with our teachers in each of our programs, with fun, yummy snacks, and small gifts. So Happy Lunar New Year everyone!

This month we are very happy to introduce you to one of our newest students, Han. As many of you know we have a program to give bicycles to girls livening in rural areas to be able to more easily get to school. Since we began our program we have given over 2000 bicycles. So last month our staff visited one of the local schools to gift 20 girls with new bicycles, and one of those girls was Han. This is her in the photo above, receiving her new bike.

Han is nine-years-old and in the third grade. While at the bike giving she learned that we also provide afterschool programs in music and art, and Han approached our staff to ask if she could join. Han’s favorite subjects in school are art and music, and her dream is to become a music teacher one day. So, of course, we invited Han to attend our classes!

Han’s family has had to live through quite a bit of hardship, especially in 2014 when she was only a toddler. Han’s father is now forty-five years old, suffered a traumatic brain injury that year, the result being that he was never able to work again. Han’s mom had to both take care of her husband, but also her two daughters. Han’s mom has had to find ways to support them all and has been doing multiple jobs all these years. She works as a farmer and makes a bit more money as a hairdresser. After High School, Han’s now 19-year-old sister had to go to work but lost her job due to Covid-19 when the country went into lockdown in the spring. As you can see though, regardless, Han is always smiling. She is a wonderful child and so thrilled to now be part of our music program. Here are a few photos of her with her new violin, teacher, and fellow students at our school.

Thank you all for giving to our music program over the years, it has been very successful in terms of the impact it has had on our students, several of whom are now in college!

We hope that you can stay safe this spring, and please let us know if you would like any more information about our programs, or just have questions!

Thank you again,

Sara

Han and her new violin!
Han and her new violin!
Han in our music class!
Han in our music class!

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Virtual Summer Orchestra
Virtual Summer Orchestra

Hello Rock-Paper-Scissor's Friends,

Every year during the summer months, a group of volunteers travel to Vietnam to work with our students and run our summer arts camp. The time spent there is a great opportunity for cross-cultural connection and a profound bonding experience between the volunteers and our students. Unfortunately, like so many around the world, Covid-19 disrupted our planned travel and it is still unknown when the next time volunteers from the United States will be able to travel to Vietnam and come together once again with our students. To make up for the lost time with the kids, this year some of our board members and volunteers decided to collaborate across the world with the students, by creating a virtual orchestra. performing an orchestral version of the Vietnamese “Covid Song” called “Ghen Cô Vy”.

In early March, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health released the song called, “Ghen Cô Vy” to teach people how to thoroughly wash their hands and stay safe during the pandemic. The song is based on the Vietnamese pop hit “Ghen” by songwriter Khac Hung and performed by Min and Erik. The popular dancer Quang ang choreographed moves to go with the lyrics that sparked the #GhenCôVychallenge on TikTok. When asked to choose a song to perform together, this was the first song that our students requested!

Each student and volunteer here in U.S. learned to play the orchestral version of the song and some volunteers and the students from one of our art classes took on the dance moves. A local high school student here in Rhode Island then took all the individual videos and created one wonderful video of everyone playing together! The creation of the video and the distant collaboration between teachers and volunteers here in the United States, and students and teachers in Vietnam was our chance to keep our bonds strong.

We hope that you all enjoy the music and the dancing! Please watch the video HERE on our YouTube page.

Please stay safe and well this fall,

Sara

RPS Art Class Students
RPS Art Class Students
Volunteer teacher and our cello students
Volunteer teacher and our cello students
Some great dancers!
Some great dancers!

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Vy June 2020
Vy June 2020

Dear Friends,

In celebration of graduation month for most schools around the world, we would like to share with you the story of one of our students who has been a committed violin student with Rock-Paper-Scissors since 2012! This is Vy, who started with us eight years ago as a young girl wanting to play the violin. Right away it was clear how incredibly talented Vy was. You know when you see a child or an adult playing an instrument and they are so very focused, and when they play you can tell that their whole body is hearing and feeling the emotion of the music? Vy was like this from the beginning, and sure enough, she turned out to be one of the top students in our music program.

Last year Vy, along with a few other students from her high school formed a group and took part in a regional music competition with approximately 35 schools competing. Vy and her friends came in second overall! They did amazingly well.

This year Vy is graduating from High School, and graduating from Rock-Paper-Scissor’s music program as well. We are so proud that she has been accepted into college in Ho Chi Minh City and will be focusing on getting a degree in business. “Being a part of the Rock-Paper-Scissors music program made me feel happy and gave me confidence in school,” she says, “when I play with the others in the music class it makes me forget any sadness I have.”

When Vy goes to college in the fall she will continue to study the violin with our support. Her dream is to teach violin lessons for us in her free time when she returns home after college.

Vy is another example of a very accomplished student and another student of ours on their way to college! Thank you everyone for supporting students like Vy, we hope you find her story inspiring. As a young girl, she persevered, participated in our classes on a regular basis, worked incredibly hard to master the violin, and now is continuing her schooling into college, not necessarily an easy feat for any young girl.

Congratulations to Vy! And we hope that you all have a safe and happy summer,

Sara 

Vy (center) in 2013 with our music teacher Tuan
Vy (center) in 2013 with our music teacher Tuan
Vy with co-founder Sophie Nerone playing together
Vy with co-founder Sophie Nerone playing together
Vy and RPS volunteer
Vy and RPS volunteer

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Tu and His Mom
Tu and His Mom

We wanted to update you on the journey of Tu, the young man in our program that recently left home to pursue additional violin training in Ho Chi Minh City. Leaving home and saying goodbye to his mom was difficult, but he was pursuing his dreams and that was something his mother has always stood behind.

Tu’s mother has been incredibly supportive of Tu and his musical endeavours from his very first day of class. She seems to have the same passion watching him play as he does playing. It is a very special bond.

“Tu is a very good son,” she said.

Tu has a uniquely kind energy, with a cheerful face who is always willing to be a help. His mom told us that he helps her around the house and also helps her at her job cleaning the school where she works as a janitor.

“He never feels ashamed to do that,” she said. “I love him very much.”

Tu’s diligence in his training has resulted in enormous progress. Last month he was asked to play at the Ho Chi Minh City Art Museum for the Lotus Art Project annual fundraising gallery night. A night of art and music benefiting non-profits doing work in the arts. A number of our visual art students’ work was also featured that and a few were sold. A portion of the proceeds from art sales that night, will be used to buy a piano for our music program.

When Tu’s mom heard that Tu was going to perform for the first time at such a big event she knew she had to be there to watch him in person. With the small group of artists and teachers and family making the trip to the city, Tu’s mom was front row for his debut performance.

“I was feeling so proud,” she said. “I was nervous for him because there were a lot of people there.”

Just being in the city at an event like that was something totally new for Tu. Before he went on, Tu said it wasn’t just the piece he was about to play that was making him nervous.

“I had never been at such a big event,” he said. “Let alone performing!”

It was one of many great nights for Tu and his mom on the journey Tu is on. He was given the opportunity and support to explore his creative passions and Tu is creating joy for other people now through the sounds of his strings.

“I think I have been lucky to be able to learn to play the violin,” Tu said. “This is my first instrument ever, however, I realize that I have a passion for it.”

Thinking back, Tu said he didn’t know what people thought of his performance, he just knew he was trying to play the best he could. There was one person there that did matter though.

“I loved it that my mom was there to see me perform.”

Thanks to all of you for your continued support of our wonderful and hard working students like Tu.

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Tu at his home
Tu at his home

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your continued support! We wanted to share with you an update on one of our students. In 2015 we wrote about him starting in our program and some of that report is revisited here. Tu was 13 years old when he started with us. He lives with his older brother and his mom; his dad unfortunately left their family and has never returned. His mom has struggled and sacrificed to bring up her two sons alone. She cleans homes and does odd jobs to pull together enough money to support the boys and be able to send them to school.

Since Tu picked up the violin in our program over five years ago, he basically hasn’t put it down. Summer volunteers who traveled to Vietnam to teach the kids for us, always identified Tu and how incredibly talented he was, even for a beginner. Now 17 years old, Tu has surpassed our younger teachers in skill, so during the summer we sent him to Saigon for nine weeks to study with a more advanced teacher. Tu jumped at the chance and was so thrilled at the opportunity. He lived with a relative there and took six hours of lessons weekly, practicing for hours daily.

Tu’s mom always told us, even when he first started playing, that he would start practicing right when he woke up in the morning and that he loved playing more than anything. Tu’s mom says that being a part of our school and learning the violin has made Tu’s life much happier, and that he isn’t such an sad kid any longer about his father leaving them. As so many of us know, music can be an avenue for translating emotion into melody.

As partners in supporting this program, you all should be so proud that you have given a young student like Tu the opportunity to learn and explore his passion in playing the violin. Tu returned home from Saigon in August and has excelled even more than we expected, in fact, recently we asked him to work as an assistant teacher for us. Tu will be applying and hopefully attending college next year, we are sure that his violin is going with him! Although this video is before his summer in Saigon, you can get an idea of his talent!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3wh49dg2l8

Thank you again everyone!

Sara

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Organization Information

Rock-Paper-Scissors Children's Fund

Location: Wakefield, RI - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @RPSChildrenFund
Project Leader:
Sara Nerone
Wakefield, RI United States
$57,933 raised of $75,000 goal
 
315 donations
$17,067 to go
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