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 Children  Japan Project #14117

Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus

by Friends of El Sistema Japan
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus
With Maestro Dudamel!
With Maestro Dudamel!

“I send you and all of your colleagues and families back at home my un-ending support - as one, we are united!” The heartfelt message of Maestro Dudamel encouraged children of Fukushima greatly.

Commemorating 2 and half year anniversary of establishing Friends of El Sistema Japan, we had an honor to hold a Charity Gala Reception at ARK HILLS CLUB, Tokyo, on Sep. 23rd, 2014 surrounded by over 130 dedicated and committed supporters, including Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, one of the greatest conductors in a century produced by Venezuela.

 The reception hall was filled with joy and excitement; however for those 13 selected members of Soma Children Orchestra, it might have been little different – extremely exciting, yet very nervous considering they were playing Mozart “Divertimento K136” in front of Maestro Dudamel!

 Unceasing effort of children was definitely repaid. As their bows glide on the strings for the last note, entire audience stood up to give round of applause which lasted a while. One of the children bursted out crying. Later on, she shared with us that she was so happy to be able to play without any mistakes on the passage which has been quite difficult to concur. Each one of them looked very proud and standing little taller. The achievement was not only on the music but also what they have learned along the way. Tireless effort to brush up skills, courage to learn and challenge new piece, reaching out to one another with the mind of “no one is left behind”. But most of all, they learned the true beauty is to be able to play not for oneself but for others and contribute for others happiness.

We thank you, Global Giving donors for your continuous support that enables children to learn such a valuable experience.

After the excellent performance, Kanon (grade 9) spoke to the audience; “Our hometown Soma is the town of rich nature and long-established traditions that we are proud of. However, since the earthquake and Tsunami hit our hometown in March 2011, we faced numerous challenges and hardships such as losing family members or place to live. During such difficult time, El Sistema Japan came to our town, Soma Children Orchestra and Chorus were established and once again, we were able to play music. This meant so much to us, and we felt hope. We felt finally we could take a step forward. Now we even feel that our music is comforting and contributing to rebuild our community little. Oh behalf of 150 members of Soma Children Orchestra and Chorus 13 of us are here in Tokyo today. We played earnestly Mozart remembering our families, teachers and friends who supported throughout the challenging time. On this beautiful autumn day, I would be happy if you enjoyed, felt something from our music, and visit us in Soma to meet us again. (in Japanese)”

She also added in English. “ Maestro Dudamel, we hope you enjoyed our Mozart. Thank you so much for being with us today. We look forward to welcoming you in Soma someday.”

Maestro Dudamel responded; “To all of the children who played for me in Tokyo from Soma, I want to send to you my thanks, my gratitude and my love. It was a moving experience to hear you perform Mozart and I send you and all of your colleagues and families back at home my un-ending support - as one, we are united!”

Again, thanks to your committed contribution, many children are making positive changes in their lives and community they live in. We are determined o expand our program and reach out more children in needs. Your continuous support and kind attention would be immeasurably appreciated!

Takayuki playing with his peers.
Takayuki playing with his peers.

Through peer learning experience, Takayuki (Grade 6, Ono elementary school) says he realized it takes enormous effort to teach others, but he has a sense of accomplishment in the end.    

“During 2-day Summer Intensive Lesson, I had an opportunity to teach and assist two of 2nd graders on basic music piece. It was difficult to have them understood at once, and I had to tell them straighten their back many times. Time flew so quickly and I came to realization that I had to be well prepared and communicate precisely to teach others. I was so happy and proud when they were able to play the piece finally!” Takayuki also says he is now more thankful for their teachers after knowing it takes enormous effort to teach.

He seems that he had blissful moment at SUMMER CONCERT IN SOMA of August 11, 2014, too. “It was thrilled to play with world known pianist Ms. Mami Hagiwara and Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra! Maximizing the potential of instrument and its sound, feeling music in harmony so closely is unforgettable experience. I am very thankful to be a member of El Sistema Japan, and I want to practice harder to challenge more music piece.” Takayuki tells us with bright smile.      

While we encourage children to work on music skills, we also focus on peer learning experience which is one of the El Sistema’s core values; students mentor each other, share their knowledge and skills. It is our belief that it leads children to develop critical life skills and contribute social development in Soma where more than 4,000 children and their families still suffer from traumatic stress caused by earthquake and tsunami, as well as the subsequent nuclear accident.

Thanks to GlobalGiving donors, more than 180 children are joyfully participating El Sistema inspired music education program now, and ever more we feel it is necessary toexpand the program to reach out more children in needs to support their lives. For every child’s bright future, in music, we trust. Your continuous support and kind attention is greatly appreciated.

2013 Christmas Concert
2013 Christmas Concert

There may be challenges, but I will strive forward. Because in the end, I know I can overcome. El Sistema taught us how through the music program”

Even after 3 years, 4,000 children in Soma still suffer from traumatic stress caused by earthquake and tsunami as well as the subsequent nuclear accident in March 2011. However, thanks to Global Giving donors, now more than 150 children are joyfully participating El Sistema inspired music education program.

Runa, Age 15 shared her feeling after lesson ; “Although I made mistake on some notes, compared to last time I was able to play more and better! We tried ‘PASTRALE’ by Coreli this time, but I didn’t know the music so I borrowed CD from instructor and tried to listen 10 times a day. I practiced at home so hard, too. I was so happy that I could play till the end. There may be challenges like this again, but I just strive forward, because in the end I know I can overcome. I learned it from El Sistema.”  

Throughout the year, we witnessed positive changes in many children’s attitude towards challenges. We feel that it is our mission toexpand our program and reach out more children in needs to support changing their lives through music. Your continuous support and kind attention would be immeasurably appreciated!

Ayuka - "Thank you for the chance to play music"
Ayuka - "Thank you for the chance to play music"

Today, we'd like to share a story out of many students' lives you have changed - through supporting our project.

Ayuka experienced a lot of difficulties after her house near the coast was swept away by the tsunami resulting from the East Japan Great Earthquake, and moved to inland areas within Soma in 2011.  In order to cope with new school environment, she joined the school strings band and became to love do playing viola. Fortunately, with the supports from El Sistema Japan, the band, which used to be in a difficult situation due to lack of instruments and qualified instructors, was revitalized.Today, through her participation in string band activity, she now enjoys playing the viola above all things with a newly established Soma Children's Orchestra and Chorus.

Ayuka's comment:

"What I felt after performing at the El Sistema music learning was really amazing. The music was so different between the beginning and end. The crescendo helped me imagine the flow of music and it changed the music totally, which was moving.  Also, I felt like I became closer with my friends when we played the game in the beginning in which we held hands together. My heart was filled with so much gratitude for giving us the opportunity to perform. Since you let us learn music, next time we hope to repay. I am thankful for a great opportunity to play music with friends."

In honor of the 3rd anniversary of East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, GlobalGiving is hosting a matching campaign for projects that work for recovery in Tohoku area.  Starting today, your donations will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving until matchign funds last.  To donate, click on "give now" button below.  

Thank you for your support for this project, and thank you for tranforming the lives of students like Ayuka! 

Children with Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Children with Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet

“The visit of Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet lifted spirit of children in Soma – The city struck by Tsunami.”  

On September 22nd 2013, the world renowned Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet has visited children in Soma city for charity concert.  Not only they astonished audience with their music in harmony but also gave an opportunity for children to play along with Quintet!

"So nice to have a chance to hear the sounds of French Horn and Bassoon which are not commonly seen. I was allured to their beautiful harmony, so, I hope to do the same with our strings ensemble! Simply their music was so wonderful. I wish we could have this great opportunity again."  Sara Onoda Grade 6 from Ono Primary School has made her comment with a bright smile.  Many other children in Soma were encouraged by their visit and overjoyed with their music.

It has been 1,000 days since East Japan Great Earthquake of March 2011, and the environment children live in is still harsh; activities outside is restricted due to radiation. However, thanks to GlobalGiving donors we are able to support children through music activities.

Music itself can heal children, furthermore, we believe that through our El Sistema inspired lessons learned in group activities, children can take pride and gain confidence in themselves with lively attitude, which are benefits that can spread beyond the classroom to parents and the community, resulting in positive social change in Soma. In other words, the children you are supporting will become a pillar of community, a pillar of reconstruction of Fukushima.

We are determined to expand our program to assist more children in changing lives through music.  Your continuous support and attention would be immeasurably appreciated!

 

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Organization Information

Friends of El Sistema Japan

Location: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo - Japan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Yutaka Kikugawa
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Japan

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