Three young Europeans came to Jamaica on a musical fact-finding mission have now returned home, leaving some happy, loving children.
But what will remain etched in their minds for a long time are the smiling faces, the hugs and laughter shared primarily among the grade-three students they volunteered to assist to improve their learning abilities through the art of the Music, Perfect Pitch for a Sound Education programme being pioneered by First Global Bank (FGB) and First Global Financial Services (FGFS) in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
Oliver Syrette, from Falmouth in the south-west of England; Teresa Scharl from Germany and Laura Fanconi from Switzerland, all music volunteers representing Projects Abroad, dedicated between two and three months to join Novelette Neil, music teacher at the Villa Road Primary and Junior High School in Mandeville, Manchester to assist with teaching the children.
One band, one sound
The trio studies music at universities in their home countries. They spent the first half of each weekday teaching the students, and together, they sang and played as one band, one sound.
"Our mission at Villa Road Primary was to help teach music and to help the children learn," Syrette said. "First Global and the Ministry of Education have really designed a genius method of teaching and learning."
After teaching music to the students during regular school hours, Oliver spent extra time in the evening to teach guitar lessons to some students. This stint will be counted toward his degree.
"We have been integrating music with the students' regular classwork to better assist them in their learning and they have responded very well to this concept. We also teach them about the theory and practical side of music," he said.
Laura said, "I will be taking the love, smiles and happiness the children showed in learning through the use of music."