Suzuki teachers are committed to the ideal that every child can learn to play an instrument, and that every child will benefit both musically and personally from doing so. In speaking of his method, Dr. Suzuki said, “teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.”
Today we are celebrating a beautiful example of that ideal in action–the work of one Suzuki student to bring music education to an underserved community, and to use music to connect people around the world:
The Haiti Youth Orchestra, founded by longtime CSI student Zach Harris, provides instruments, instruction, and the opportunity to play in an orchestra for Haitian students. Zach began the process of founding this organization in 2012, when he was a middle school student. Zach is now a senior in high school, and the HYO has grown to serve 60 student orchestra members in the community of Mirebalais, Haiti.
Zach has also fostered a connection between the Colorado Symphony and the Haiti Youth Orchestra. The Colorado Symphony has donated equipment and instruments to HYO, CSO musicians have traveled to Haiti to work with students in Mirebalais, and this November three students from the HYO traveled to Denver to spend a week working and performing with members of the CSO. You can see a video of the visiting Haitian students playing with Colorado Symphony members prior to a CSO concert below, and read more about their visit here.
For more information about the HYO, and its partner organization, The Road to Hope, click here and here. If you would like to know more about CSI’s commitment to organizations such as HYO through our ¡Viva Suzuki! program, click here.