Check out the video on the left of the VAMOS! youth from Metepec performing for the entire VAMOS! Metepec program. These four are some of the stars of our music program which in 2013 really took off! VAMOS! now has a full time music teacher, 80 guitars and dozens of singers! Each of our 10 program locations has 8 guitars and Carlos, our music teacher travels from program to program providing music lessons once a week. In the meantime the children have guitars available to practice on their own. People have asked why we have music lessons available in our projects where the people have so little to eat and the needs are so many. The first reason is that the children and moms asked for music lessons. And when they asked, we told them that we would have to figure out if we could make it happen. And we did! We got a grant to purchase instruments and then one of our donors committed to covering the cost of a teacher in order to keep the program running.
The results have been rather impressive so far. Children of all ages learn how to read music, play the guitar and sing. Last year the VAMOS! choir sang, along with other local children’s choirs, at a variety of events in and around Cuernavaca. How our children (and their parents) feel when a large audience applauds their performance simply cannot be measured. It is wonderful to behold! And so many studies have proven that music education increases a student’s academic achievement in so many ways – ranging from improving their ability to retain and recall information to increasing communication skills, creativity, discipline, the ability to solve problems and to work cooperatively. All skills that are needed throughout our lives and perhaps nowhere more than in the poor colonias where VAMOS! has our programs. Maybe the best reason to include music education in our projects is because, as Bono says, “Music can change the world because it can change people.”