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One of Dryden, Ontario's Landfill's. This one ...

One of Dryden, Ontario’s Landfill’s. This one is located in Barclay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because of our own financial problem, I encourage my children to help other kids when they can. since they start to perform at very young age, they have being the volunteer entertainers of Child Run,an annual fundraising event for BC Children Hospital. Now they established a charity program to teach kids from low-income family for free. We always know how hard it is to pay for music lessons and buy instruments as we experienced it ourselves.

Just saw a trail of a documentary film called Landfill Harmonic, a couple of music professors and a luthier is help the poorest kids who live in a landfill city make instruments from trash and teach them to play. They took those amazing sounding young musicians on tour in Europe with their instruments made from garbage. One of the orchestra kids’ father said they make a living by resell the trash, surviving day by day. They don’t have money to buy any instrument or pay music lesson. And his daughter said she can’t live without music. I cried when I heard the outstanding music they played. My guitar teacher who is the best in Asia want to teach me for free too when I was young. I asked him why, he said, because you really want to learn. Unfortunately I couldn’t continue the lessons because of some family issue.

a few days ago a music teacher send me an article written by a music parent who is an economist talking about why music teacher should charge the missing lesson without give out make up lesson. He compare music lesson with swimming lesson, he said, you can’t ask for make up lesson for swimming or university class so you shouldn’t ask make-up music lesson if your kid is sick. he forget one thing swimming lessons and university classes are group lessons if you missed one you can ask your friend, or the instructor to give you a tip or assignment within short time. But music lessons are set for individual, private lessons. Music skill take time to progress and very detail learning in person there is nothing a friend or assignment can catch it up like a make-up lesson will do. Plus in a group lesson the instructor already spend his time with other students, of course it’s not fair for him to spend extra time with single student. But for private music lesson, the teacher won’t need to do anything if the student is not there, so make-up lesson is just move the same amount of time he spend on teaching to different spot. He doesn’t lose anything.

what a contrast, the music professors teaching for free to change lives, and a rich parent want the teacher enjoy his free time when his kid missed a lesson. My family struggle financially, even my kids have some talent and they need a good teacher I can’t afford to pay a lesson not taught. I think the professor in the movie know that and he won’t ask for money from the landfill orchestra. Music teachers need the tuition for living, but get paid even their student is sick or can’t make it to the lesson, umm. I know I want my children to be the music teachers who give to make a change.

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