nonprofit work
Feb 14 2014

Making music in Bogota

Music instructor Oswaldo plays the keyboard while sponsored friends practice their song.

Music instructor Oswaldo plays the keyboard while sponsored friends practice their song.

By Jordan Kimbrell, Unbound writer/editor

Music is what moves us. We live our whole lives with rhythm around and inside us; from the beating of our hearts to the traffic outside an office window.

One of our co-founders showed this throughout his life. Bob Hentzen was always just a breath away from a song, and I rarely saw him without a guitar nearby.

Music has always been an important part of the communities and cultures served by Unbound.

In Bogota, Colombia, 30 sponsored children take part in a music class and learn about the importance of music.

Every Tuesday finds the children at the Unbound office in Bogota, half in the morning and the other half in the afternoon.

“I have a lot of fun during the music class,” said Natalia, one of the students. “I like to learn how to sing and how to play musical instruments.”

Natalia also was eager to share a message for her sponsors.

“Thanks for all the support you are bringing to me and for bringing me the chance to learn something that I like,” she said.

“We have fun with my friends.”

In addition to singing lessons, the students have the chance to learn how to play piano, drums or guitar.

Henry Flores, director of the Unbound Communications Center in El Salvador, brought his guitar with him when he paid a visit to the music class in Bogota.

Henry Flores, director of the Unbound Communications Center in El Salvador, brought his guitar with him when he paid a visit to the music class in Bogota.

“I like the music class because I like to learn all about music and I have fun with my friends,” said Fiorella, another of the students. “I like to sing in the chorus. Also, I am learning to play piano.”

While there have been many studies that show the benefits of musical education on other aspects of life, such as improved thought processes and test scores, that isn’t the only reason this workshop is offered.

Many of the students who participate arrive home to an empty house. Their parents are still at work, doing their best to make ends meet.

By attending the music class, these students have a safe place to go when their parents aren’t home. And they’re learning something new in the process.

Their teacher, Oswaldo, has seen great improvements in his student’s skills.

“Thanks to the music class the children have been working hard and they have learned a lot,” he said. “Now they are able to play the rhythms, and they want to continue learning new types of music and learning more skills playing the musical instruments.”

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