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Aug 20, 2015

MusAid Hosts Music Workshop with National Youth Orchestra

MusAid is a non-profit organization that seeks to help musicians around the world is in Belize once again. Partnering with the National Youth Orchestra, MusAid, with the support of guest musicians, is hosting workshops to help the young musicians to develop skills and also to train teachers. Since coming to Belize, the non-profit has gifted the orchestra with several pieces of musical instruments including a double bass and bassoon, as well as providing mentorship and training. We spoke with some of the key members of the visiting team about the work they have been doing in Belize for the past two weeks.


Kevin Schaffter

Kevin Schaffter, Founder & Exec. Director, MusAid

“Three years ago we came to visit Belize and sort of got an idea of the needs of the National Youth Orchestra here and for the past two years we’ve held two weeks workshops where we target their specific needs and we do that through training teachers here because we want to build local capacity and we do this through instrument repair training so that instruments can be repaired once we leave and also by donating instruments.”


Andrea Beyer

Andrea Beyer, Workshop Coordinator, MusAid

“The section of the workshop that you are seeing right now is the pedagogy class. So, they have divided into two groups; one with just the strings and one with the woodwinds and brass and the goal here is to train the local teachers and advanced students who are interested in becoming teachers to give them techniques to share with their students and also build confidence and really build leadership and mentorship within the orchestra. And so you’ve seen now in one of the rooms the teacher presenting a new skill and in the other room one of the students was actually practice teaching on a teacher from a different instrument.”


Dan Trahey

Dan Trahey, Guest Faculty Artist, MusAid

“I see an incredibly bright future for music in Belize. I travel all over the world specifically in Latin America and I see very similar things in most of the countries here. I see the passion and it’s incredible. It’s almost like violins were in the mother’s womb because they are so natural. I feel a connection of the instruments and the body. But the thing that impresses me the most about being in Belize is the hunger for knowledge. I feel like maybe in an American child you may not get that with but some of these children they come from two hours away every single day to take these lessons and they are just thirsty for knowledge. That is the thing that the teacher wants; the only thing that a teacher wants. We don’t care about the talent and all that but how hard is someone willing to work and how hard they want that information.”

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