DEAR EDITOR, last week, the Speaker of the National Parliament, Ajilon Jasper Nasiu, spoke on the history of the Youth Parliament and how participation in such a forum provided youths with an opportunity to express their ideas and to widen their educational experience.
He also stressed how participation helped to develop confidence, team work and broader awareness of community issues.
I fully endorse what the Speaker had to say about widening the experience of youths and broadening their education and their role in society.
It is very much for the same reasons that I would like to see the broadening of music education and the early creation and sustainability of a National Youth Orchestra in the Solomon Islands.
I believe participation in a youth orchestra would have a profound impact on the development of today’s youth.
Beyond being a recreational activity, it would create opportunities for leadership, engagement, and creativity.
Music builds leadership: Many music programs involve bands, choirs and orchestras, all of which involve working and communicating with others to achieve a common goal. This develops leadership and teamwork skills that can be applied to other areas of life.
A music education can provide the values for students to thrive in all areas of life from academics, to relationships, to careers. Having the understanding that practice makes perfect and sustained effort will achieve positive results is sure to take any music student far.
Australia has several youth orchestra and the one in Sydney has a programme that provides orchestral training to young musicians between 6-25 years.
I believe if a National Youth Orchestra was created in the Solomon Islands participating youths would benefit from the social interaction of being part of an orchestra and lasting friendships would be developed as a result of the experiences they would share.
To get a National Youth Orchestra off the ground it would be my suggestion that approaches should be considered by the new Minister for Women, Youth and Children Affairs, the Hon. Lanelle Olandrea Tanangada, herself an accomplished pianist, to engage a voluntary service specialist from the VSO organizations regionally or from the United Kingdom.
Such a person, with the right qualifications in music education, coupled with determination and enthusiasm could become the essential ‘Partner in Music Education’ and see to the recruitment, selection and training of the youths that would make up the orchestra.
VSO volunteers from the United Kingdom reached 1.5 million people last year.
They brought inspiration, energy and vital practical skills to help achieve community goals and especially in education.
Much similar good work is being undertaken by volunteers from Australia and New Zealand.
I feel confident that there would be many volunteers willing to come to the Solomon Islands possessing high standards of musical excellence and a love of teaching.
Perhaps it is just for the want of asking, so why not?