Fiddleheads and a Trinidad Violin Project
"Empowerment Through Music Going Strong"
Written by the Rotary Club of Westmount, Quebec
In February 2008, a member of the Rotary Club of Westmount delivered seven violins purchased from Fiddleheads Violin Studio to almost double the number of violins used in an after-school program for underprivileged students at the Woodbrook Learning Center, in Port of Spain. It is expected to make more instruments will be available for practising at home.
In 1999 the Rotary Club of Maraval, through the kind assistance of the Port of Spain City Corporation, acquired the use of the Woodbrook Estate Office, a small building in the inner city. Here the Club established the Learning Center, a school that provides an avenue where displaced children can recover their education path.
The school attracts students who have special difficulties that have impacted on their learning or who have fallen out of the regular education system.
By teaching a tailored curriculum and providing special medical and counselling services where required, the students are elevated to a level where they are either re-introduced into the regular school system or enrolled into other vocational or skills training programs.
Approximately two years ago an after-school music program was added. The music students meet weekly with a music teacher hired by the Maraval Club. The discipline they learn from music tends to flow over to strengthen their academic performance.
Based on experience gained here, the Rotary Club is hoping to extend the benefits of classical music training to other schools in the city.
Don MacKinnon is the Westmount Rotarian involved in the planning and delivery of Westmount’s donation.
“We are greatly indebted to Rhiannon Nachbaur and to Fiddleheads.ca for the unstinting assistance and counsel in obtaining the appropriate violins for this program, and for her generous financial support toward their acquisition," he said.
"We thank her deeply and sincerely for her generosity.” •