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A New Partnership for El Sistema Hong Kong
Melissa Nino, ESHK Artistic Director and String Principal
El Sistema Hong Kong, an organization based in both Tin Shui Wai and Western District, provides music education to over 50 children and senior citizens. Currently, we are happy to partner with the Hong Kong Children In Need Foundation (HKCIN) to launch a project called “IN School Program.” This program is designed to teach (in Cantonese) ensemble playing at Public Primary Schools, with a team of music school graduates who have been training since last August. For the first year, we are working with three primary schools. Weekly ensemble sessions are led by a team of six teachers, one supervisor, and several social workers. We aim to increase the number of both students and staff members in the second year.
Our major objectives are:
- To model more positive thinking and attention to physical/emotional wellbeing for our students.
- To train our students in self-discipline and concentration, which link to academic improvements.
- To increase our students’ self-confidence to perform in front of an audience and communicate effectively about music.
- To help our students develop abilities to lead, inspire and follow through on personal goals.
- To encourage collaboration and peer mentorship among our students.
Unfortunately, we have not had a smooth beginning, due to the current events in Hong Kong. We have often had to cancel classes for the safety of our children and team. When we do meet with our students, it is especially crucial to have big smiles on our faces and lots of positive energy. It is our responsibility to show them that there is always a light amidst the chaos.