On April 17, Goducate held a recital in Camp Goducate Laguna, a year after the previous one on Feb 27, 2021. It had been preceded by a 3-month workshop. The recital was attended by 67 performers, as well as their guardians andorphans/musicians from the Rose of Sharon House of Friendship as the observers. The recital was open to everyone, but the youth and beneficiaries of the feeding program were prioritized.
Music was one of the earliest programs that Goducate introduced in the Philippines because it was a good way of reaching out to out-of-school youth.
When I took charge of the music program in 2018, I planned to expand it to the community. The aim was not only to teach music, but also to improve the lives of students and teachers through character building and home visits.
In 2019, the program, called GoMusic, was brought to Masaya Elementary School, then also to Masaya Junior High School, where we were given a room for our program, but the pandemic stopped the program in March 2020. The music program at the two schools has not resumed because the school facilities are opened only for temporary limited face-to-face classes.
GoMusic did resume in February 2021 but only for a 2-week workshop and then a recital. The intention was to divert the youths’ anxiety due to the pandemic into an interest in music, and thus to help them unwind. However, the program was held inconsistently throughout the year because of changing community quarantine levels.
67 music students took part in this year’s workshop and recital. 48 of them were new music students; meaning, they were beginners, unlike those who took part in the previous workshop who were students with some basic knowledge of music. Of the new students, 14 came from Janiuay, Iloilo, 16 came from Goducate’s feeding program, 6 were children of Goducate staff, and 12 were youth from the community (specifically from different Barangays of Bay, Los Baños, and Calauan, Laguna, which are the outreach areas of the Pastors, and where feeding programs are being conducted). The students from Janiuay were already learning to play the guitar, but did not know how to play the recorder. So we started them on recorder lessons in February. They are taught via Zoom. While the online tutorial is being held, local facilitators oversee and guide the students.
For the rest of this year, GoMusic aims to take on the challenge of bringing the hybrid program (i.e., providing music workshops and recitals both face-to-face and online via Zoom) to the rest of the country.
In the GoMusic classes being held online in a church in Iloilo, the students focus mainly on the guitar and recorder, whereas the students in Laguna focus on the recorder and violin. The difference in focus is due merely to availabilities of instruments and teachers in the two areas. In addition, the recorder is easier to teach online.
The next music workshop and recital, to be held on August 27, is expected to have 110 participants (80 recorder players and 30 choir members). Sixty of the expected recorder players are beneficiaries of the feeding program in Laguna. The 20 from Iloilo will be tutored online. Of the singers, 15 will come from the Rose of Sharon House of Friendship, and 15 are beneficiaries of the feeding program.
*Our guest writer is Jonathan Luceno - Director of GoMusic