Last month we featured El Oasis Children’s Village in Mexico and their thriving music program with the children. This month we focus on the wonderful music program at Las Palmas in the Dominican Republic.  Your support makes this program possible for the children!  

The following is shared by Las Palmas Director Samilin Williams

God created us in His image and likeness. And one of His attributes is the Great Artist. He is the one who filled everything with beautiful and incomparable melodies and endowed us with mirror neurons that allow us to capture these stimuli, understand them and use our creativity to take advantage of them in magnificent compositions. That is why music runs in our blood. We can see it in all its creation: the seven musical sounds and their semitones, with their beautiful combinations in different chords, and their precious variability in the face of rhythm changes. We can hear them in the rhythmic movement of the water, the air, the leaves of the trees, the sea; in the melodious song of the birds with their trills, the beasts with their calling… in short, all creation unfolds in a musical environment; life is music. Music is more than vibrant waves; it is the balm with which God balances our emotions. When you are sad, music gives you joy. If you are in despair, music soothes you; if you are in a daze, music refreshes your soul.

Music came to stay with us. In Heaven we will praise our Creator through music and unite with the heavenly beings through music. The only task the Bible says we will perform with the heavenly beings is to join in rejoicing, giving glory to God and the Lamb with our voices and harps. We will sing and be part of that beautiful and harmonious heavenly choir.

So, it is a sublime task to encourage our children, adolescents and youth to develop this divine attribute. In 2002, the music program was initiated formally for the children in Las Palmas as a strategy to stimulate the cognitive, motor and emotional development of the children, as well as discipline, socialization and worship of God.

Little by little the program expanded until it became a very important part in the development of the children at the Hogar, with the freedom for them to choose the instrument they would like to play. From those beginnings to date, there are many students who have had the wonderful experience of being able to acquire musical culture and start learning to play an instrument.

Music has facilitated the creation of an enriching environment that favors the development of competencies for the strengthening of multiple intelligences, including creativity, through meaningful learning.

Singing is one of the activities that stimulates their language development and improves their ability to express themselves orally and through gestures. Through singing and instrumental interpretation, their lives are brightened. 

We analyzed the answers given by 20 of our kids to a survey to know their perception of the music education program.

They participated very willingly and said that they like music very much, it makes them feel “very good,” “relaxed,” “happy,” “joyful,” “excited,” “good and happy at the same time,” “with a lot of energy,” “privileged.”

They also report feeling “a lot of support,” “it helps in regular classes,” improving their learning in regular classes; being able to “say what I can’t say otherwise,” and “it keeps my mind occupied with something positive.”

They said they would not change the study of music “for anything.” They are aware that “there are many people who would like this opportunity that we have.”

According to these kids, what makes them happy at Las Palmas are things like “the activities,” “the people,” “the music,” “the food,” “being able to sleep,” “being able to share.”

Many of these young people, after finishing their studies, are singers and composers of melodies to praise God. Others have had the opportunity to play on various stages, such as churches and government agencies, in orchestras and musical groups.  Some have also found in music a way to support themselves, teaching classes and giving to others what for them was a blessing in their lives.

As an educator, I have been able to see how vulnerable children find in music learning a support for their emotional growth and the expression of their emotions.  They also find joy and tranquility in music. Being aware of this evidence is why I maintain that in educational projects for vulnerable children, musical education is of great importance and great utility for their learning to reach the expected levels that allow them to achieve their goals and dreams broken by the pain that life has caused them at their young age.

Thank you for your support in making this a reality for the children. 

Editor’s note: We praise God for your investment in the children and support of music in their lives.  Because of you the children are experiencing the wonderful, transformative power of music. Thank you!