Why do we teach music?
This is one question we have been asked more than once throughout the project year by the children and their families. The answer to could be either very complex or very simple, but one answer clearly came out as a result of this project: because it makes the world – and life - a little better.
After the music teaching and the social empowerment sessions came to an end with the summer holidays, our internal work just started. The aim was to reach a comprehensive understanding of the impact and achievements of this project; as well as its points for improvement.
Feedback regarding the social impact of the AACT project was collected from students, school teachers, music teachers and families through interviews and questionnaires. In addition to that, all the data related to the music education: attendance rates and musical development was collected and analyzed.
Based on the data, we can certainly state some facts:
1. The project was very successful in terms of attendance 86 out of the 100 children participated in the project till the end - average dropout rates for this kind of projects is at 25%.
2. The attendance for the music lessons in average is at 78%.
3. The artistic/ musical evaluation for the individual development of each student is at 85 out of 100.
4. There is a clear and significant improvement in how the children see themselves, and in the way they interact with their surroundings. Due to the short period of time (10 months) this effect is small, and we would have to continue at least another two years to make a valid statistic statement.
But these are of course only the dry numbers. One story might tell all the rest. Two of our students, two lovely third graders, were studying oud (Arab lute) since the beginning of the project, making great progress. After the school year was finished, the two – and their families – were so happy with the music, they absolutely wanted to continue. The oud teacher of the two girls, Saied Silbak, volunteered to continue teaching them throughout the summer without fee. During the summer, and after a lesson of 60 minutes, one of the girls simply refused to leave and stop the lesson. She absolutely insisted on continuing, saying that the music gives her a good feeling and something to do, distracting her from the fact that there is not much to do around in the summer holidays...and since then, both of the girlsl are now regular students of Beit Almusica with a partial scholarship - also provided with your help.
We currently work on ensuring project support for another year, again with an improved concept including more group work and more creative music making. Regardless of that, we were able to secure support for 12 of the most talented children to keep on learning music at Beit Almusica.
Regardless of whether you choose to continue supporting the AACT project with time, money, or good will, we are determined to continue this important work in 2012/2013 and beyond and to be great partners with you and responsible and effective stewards of your hope, time and resources. Please tell five of your friends about this project, post it on your face book and tell your family and friends about it. Even the smallest support from you can make a huge difference in the lives of these children. Thank you!