Bringing pianos and music to Sichuan Kids 2016/7/29

In May, the Piano +1 program donated 5 pianos and helped provide music teachers for 5 schools around Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province: Mei Shan City Peng Xi Primary School, Doushuo Primary School, Wu Huang Primary School, and Hong Ya School. Some of these schools were rebuilt or restored in response to the 2009 earthquake, and local Lions Club members were instrumental in helping facilitate the donation paperwork with the local authorities. Mark visited each school with his wife and Mr. Jans Song, a local volunteer and an honorary chairman of the foundation, to personally meet the students, teachers and officials and check the program implementation. “I live with my granny, but my mother and father are working in another city. I love music,” said a seven-year old to Mark when she played the piano (for the first time in her life). Although the pianos arrived safely, Mark discovered some still need to be tuned, and some teachers require additional training. Because some of the schools are in remote areas, it is sometimes a challenge finding piano technicians and professional/Volunteer teachers. Mark and his team promised the schools they would help address these issues. Schools are also required to sign a contract promising to take care of the pianos and support the teachers before they receive the pianos. However, in spite of the challenges, we were told by one school that kids were lining up by scores for lessons, and we estimate that between the 5 schools, now over 4000 students have access to piano and music lessons that before had none. Mark hopes that the P+1 program donations to these schools will be a seed that starts self-sustaining music programs long into the future. The event was also covered by Chengdu TV. Last year our foundation also donated to an indigenous minority school in Yunnan. To date the foundation’s P+1 program has made piano and arts instruction available to over 5000 students in under-served and impoverished communities. This and other programs are helping bringing art to kids around the world, including in China, Kenya and America. Thanks to all the volunteers and partners from Hong Kong and around China who made these donations possible!