It may not seem like a big deal; a school has a big band program, so what? Well, for the students of this program in La Pintana, Santiago, big band is about much more than music. Many of these children come from strained families in which drug and alcohol abuse, as well as gang activity, are a part of their daily reality. By having rehearsals twice a week, Mondays and Fridays, this program is not only keeping kids off the streets where they could engage in these activities as well, but it is also providing these students with a constructive outlet for any frustrations or trials they may be facing at home.
By learning songs such as James Brown’s, I Feel Good, these students have a clear goal set before them to accomplish. More so, these kids experience true joy and pride when they reach these goals by playing concerts for the community. Involvement in the big band program means earning a sense of self worth as you play a key role which no other person can fill in the band. It also means earning self confidence as you set goals and work hard to achieve them. It also means earning hope that there is more to life than following in the steps of your parents, siblings, or friends because you now know that you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to.
Music is so much more than playing notes and learning scales; it is learning valuable, God-given truths which in turn build the foundation necessary for success in the lives of these children. I am so proud to have the privilege and honor of seeing these kids grow as they have a blast playing one of my favorite things; music.
Megan Bogus, Intern
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