Friday, April 24, 2009

Music in Romania

This last month I spent a very short week in Romania.  Part of my trip was spent working with H2H Missionary, Kirsteen and her three music classes from the Peris Orphanage.  She has started regular music classes with about 15 kids, ages 6- 17.  We hosted the kids in the H2H home in Snagov for a special Music Day.  

With lots of planning, donated materials and instruments, and many faithful music-loving prayer supporters back in the US, the first H2H Music Day was a success!  

We taught about rhythm and dynamics.  For most of the kids, these were new concepts.  By the end of each Music Day, the kids could identify pp-ff in music, clap basic quarter note and eighth note rhythms, and even compose their own rhythmic 4/4 measure.  

We also brought along music-shaped cookie cutters and sugar cookie dough, lots of noise makers, stickers, and special letters from music students in California.  

It was such a fun day, watching the little kids practice crescendos and diminuendos by 'marching' in a parade.  Or helping the middle class create a rain storm with clapping, snapping, and tapping on their knees.  Or showing an older student how to conduct pp or ff.

The most amazing part was seeing the natural inclination certain kids had.  Claudia has a steel trap for a brain and can memorize concepts, musical terms, and basic rhythms without a second glance.  Ioana has natural rhythm and can keep the whole group together. Little Vic picked up a piece of hose and a funnel and surprisingly has the perfect embouchure of a future trumpet player.  The unrealized potential in this handful of Romanian orphans is enough to make one want to bring music to every orphanage... and art classes... and science experiments... and cooking classes... if only there was more time, more hands to find out what each child was good at and liked doing.  Imagine the ensemble we could have out of the 400+ Romanian orphans H2H works with regularly!

Here's pics of the H2H Music Days: 

Marius, Alina, and Vic clapping rhythms - and having a good time!

Ioana is one of the most promising music student in the Peris Music Classes.  She is quick to learn new concepts and has a natural sense of rhythm.  She also helps keep the younger kids together when they're playing more than one part.  She quickly picked up the concept of 4/4 time with quarter and eighth notes.  Here's her one measure composition:

Georgiana with her one measure rhythm:

We brought out a box of shakers, drums, whistles, and all other varieties of noise makers and turned the kids loose on it for 10 minutes of 'music.'  We dubbed it 'The Noisy Corner' and after we each took our tylenol, it really wasn't as bad as it sounds!  The kids loved experimenting and being allowed to try different instruments.  I loved watching their faces light up each time they found a new shaker or tambourine!

The older kids loved the 'noisy corner' too!

Kirsteen leading the little kids in a rhythm game.

Alina loves music! (or cookies... not sure which)

Iulica doing a craft.

Alina and Vic identifying loud and soft dynamics.

Ioana, Claudia, Stefi, and Elena making a 'rain storm:'

Alina showing off a letter from her California music student pen pal!

Someone give this kid a trumpet!!

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