By Ross Green, Director MSI. Expert Volunteer
Through chance meetings, good will, and providence I found myself on an airplane headed for Bali last month. My name is Ross, and I started a music charity for kids eight years ago. We started in Nepal and have since been to eight countries helping kids write their own lyrics and sing their own songs with the end result being a music video that they star in.
We’ve just completed two projects with 32 students selected from East Bali Poverty Project’s (EBPP) 6 schools. You can see the videos on my site. www.musicseedsinternational.com – and also on EBPP’s You Tube channel: EBPP1998.
I have to say this has been one of the most interesting projects to date. There are six EBPP schools in the region and they are quite remote. Coming down the mountain each day and looking at the jungle flowing into the Strait of Lombok was a real treat. After school there was sometimes time before dark to get to the ocean for a swim and look back on Mount Agung, the volcano that erupted in 1963.
In an effort to give everyone from even the furthest schools a chance to participate, EBPP transported students daily to one (remote) central location. With roads as intense as these, this was a special effort to be sure. I have a deep admiration for the work that everyone is doing in turning this once desolate zone into a place of hope and well being.
For our project we chose to take two groups of 16 kids each and produce two videos/songs. As usual the kids were asked to choose a topic, name their band and song title and then write their own lyrics in the language of their choice. Simple acoustic guitar chord patterns along with computer generated beats and an acoustic bass were employed by myself to create the music tracks.
Armed with a translator, music teacher and a guitar player/percussionist we were well equipped to help the students create. Being this remote meant no real recording studio but once again my mobile recording toys (though getting very weary) sufficed.
Special thanks to Lyndsey B. and her partner for donating a guitar to the EBPP as part of the mission.
Sometimes I am on my own doing this work and I have to say it’s so much easier with support like I experienced with EBPP. Eka, Made and Eddy were there for me daily making sure the kids knew what I was saying and how we were going to create the videos and songs.
I hope we can do this again. Thank you so much to the happy people at the EBPP office in Karangasem. EBPP has many things going on that you can help with. Education, nutrition and health professionals from all over the world give expertise and are well taken care of. The staff is a joy to work with. If all work places were this happy the world would be a much better place. I miss you already.