SOS Children's Village Rock Band

On July 2009, I formed a rock band outside of school to alleviate academic stress through music and live performances. Like any other idea that began for the self, I eventually had the idea of sharing the talents and passion of the people I worked with to others who do not have a chance to be exposed to the same opportunities that we are.

I found this orphanage inside Ayala Alabang Village called the SOS Children’s Village Manila. The village had multiple locations all over the Philippines. I began by emailing the village head, and he replied with excitement. He narrated how there were no volunteers who ever came to share music with the children and this will be a great idea.

With our combined enthusiasm, we immediately started our lessons. We visited the village every Saturday. Because they had no musical instruments or equipment, my band had to bring everything every Saturday. Being the drummer, I had to assemble and re-assemble my drum set every week. Moreover, most of us weren’t really fluent in Tagalog, so we had a difficult time in articulating our message during lessons.

These small bumps in the road did not stop us because we could see how excited and delighted the kids were and how they enjoyed learning music so much. We found some students who were so naturally talented and musically inclined. We made great new friends and found ourselves learning from their undying dedication as much as they were learning skills from us. This was where our motto of “learning through teaching” came from.

This pushed us further to set a goal for them. We successfully held an annual concert for two years with the proceeds of the first able to raise more than enough to finally provide the students with their own set of full music instruments and equipment. The second provided the students with their own music practice room and additional sound and soundproof equipment for our weekly lessons.

To let others know more about SOS Children’s Village which has been wonderful so far, we also published an article about the joint efforts of our service and of the village in the Ayala Alabang Village magazine.

As the band and I became seniors and faced parting to university, we realised that most of us may not be here in the country any more to continue the project. However, to stop here would be an affront to all the children who have grown to love music and learning. To continue our legacy, our teachings, and our relationships with the village and the students, we founded the Saturday School of Rock club to gather more musically talented high school students who would be willing to dedicate their time as we did—even if we leave.

 

Jane Lee