Friday, May 6, 2011

Reaching rural Costa Rica with Music

Happy Students with Cardboard Keyboards!

      There are parts of Costa Rica ignored and forgotten. One of these areas is where the “squatters” live. These people are on government land and have built small corrugated tin houses to protect themselves from the rain and sun. They are very small and few have running water or electricity. Most have dirt floors. One of these places is about a 30 min drive from our house.
       A Pastor came to us and asked us if we would come to his church and teach music. He explained that they had saved for a long time and now they have a small keyboard but no one knows how to play it. 
     When we arrived for the first group lesson there were 16 students.  We taught some music theory and rhythms then divided into two groups.  Cornelio took the guitar students and I took the keyboard students. When in the states I had talked to my music teacher and got some great ideas how to teach on a cardboard keyboard to teach finger patterns and scales. The students practice on the cardboard keyboard then rotate to me and I work with them individually on the one and only keyboard. Cornelio has the same idea going with the guitar.  
 The Pastor said he would charge a small fee each week equal to about $1 per person so it would show commitment and accountability. He gathered up the coins after the first group lesson and was embarrassed as how many could not pay and was trying to figure out how much money he needed to put in so it would at least pay for our gas to come. Cornelio took the small handful of coins and said, “Pastor this is just the right amount. The students are eager to learn and we will be back next week” The Pastor shook hands and with great appreciation said thank you, we look forward to having you come back.
It has been a joy to see the students of all ages get together as they learn about music and worship.

Cornelio Teaching Guitar Theory