A new school for teaching music to children from 5 years old and up, opened its doors in Montezuma recently. Since November 2009 many children from Montezuma and the surrounding area have been participating in this exciting new opportunity.
The school is being run in Montezuma by Raul Ibarra Osorio, who plays classical
and jazz piano and his mission is to create a young orchestra from Montezuma, using bowed, wind and percussion instruments. Teachers like Raul are seen as “Mentors” whose mission is to instill in his students a clear conception of what constitutes a job well done.
There are now many such orchestras all over Costa Rica, sponsored by the Programa Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical (SINEM), part of the Ministry of Culture and Youth (MCJ). Ricardo Vargas, the general director of SINEM, is the man responsible for creating this nation-wide program.
The National System of Music Education started officially on May 3, 2007 during the administration of President Oscar Arias Sanchez and Dr. Maria Elena Barballo Casegnaro, Minister of Culture and Youth. The basic idea is that learning a musical instrument develops strong personality traits (patience, work ethic, discipline and organizational skills) in young people that benefit them later in life. The program was announced in May of 2007 with an initial investment of 250 million colones by the MCJ to purchase 550 musical instruments. The program is national effort to provide music training to all youngsters, especially in under-privileged and remote locations, and the theme is “Music without Borders”.
Instruments are loaned to the students, so that any child has the opportunity to try out an string, wind or percussion instrument without making a big investment, because the monthly payment (5000 colones) is one that everyone can afford. The children practice instrumentals twice a week, plus twice a week practice in choir, which everyone has to do; so our local children are making rapid progress.
Raul and a committee of parents are also organizing other activities, like the visit by the big band from the Escazu music school. On their first day, they gave a concert in the Luz de Mono and showed the children of Montezuma, how a band that had practiced for only 18 months could sound so professional. On the following day the children all had a master class together and then spent a nice afternoon getting to know each other at the waterfalls.
In Montezuma they started initially with choir only, but in late February the instruments arrived and the children are learning to play as a group. The leader of the choir is Roberto Acevedo, who owns the Buen Provecho café, and who has an impressive list of musical training and is also teaching brass. All parents, with or without music skills, are welcome to participate either in the practices, or organizing events, or just being there to show their support. Much of the success of these youth orchestras depends on adult participation and support.
All children are welcome to participate in the SINEM Montezuma Orchestra!
Call Raul for more infos
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