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11/9/19-Connecting Through (Ukulele) Chords🎶 🎸

Updated: Jul 31

This past Saturday, November 9th, HeartBEATS held its second outreach program at the Welcome to America Project’s Clothing Closet! It took place at an apartment complex I have previously visited for a Welcome delivery, so I was already familiar with several of the families. This time, I brought along my ukulele, three new drums, a new toy piano, and a variety of other types of shakers and bells. Within a few minutes of setting up, there were several kids surrounding the baskets of instruments, trying out the sound and feel of each one. That’s something I realized about this event: music encourages a sense of curiosity in everyone. Whether it’s trying to figure out how to hit the drum so it sounds its loudest or softest or playing with the piano until discovering that it can imitate the sounds of a flute, we were all exploring and learning new things every moment. It also creates a connection between the refugee kids as well; I saw one girl motion towards her friend that by strumming up and down on the ukulele, it produced a rhythm that fit the beat of the ABCs! Two other volunteers and I led everyone in a music circle, singing as many children’s songs as we knew while I played the ukulele. Once we had exhausted our list, we asked the kids what songs they knew, and they were able to teach us some of their own! I believe this specific event very much got to the heart of my program because we were able to bring together other volunteers with refugee children through music. My hope is that the morning we spent together will inspire a love of music for everyone who joined in our circle and even those who stood to the side and listened.

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"Music is the universal language of mankind."

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow