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Music as a Global Resource: - International Council for Caring ...

Music as a Global Resource: - International Council for Caring ...

SECTIONS:

SECTIONS: Music for Sustainable Community Development Music for Mental and Physical Health COUNTRIES: Guinea and United States of America PROJECT: SUPPORTING AND ENHANCING THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF HOMELESS CHILDREN AND CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES: GROUP LAIENGEE PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Group Laiengee‟s performance practice centers on the approach that music and movement allow individuals to feel comfortable and confident to express themselves, to experience a wider range of emotions, and to discover what it is like to engage in communication with others in a rewarding and memorable group relationship. The students are able to gain a sense of success and offer value to their community by playing traditional rhythms, singing familiar songs, and showcasing their feats of dance and music mastery. In spite of their numerous disabilities, they can reenter their society with honor, respect, and accomplishment. The theory behind Group Laiengee‟s approach is that all human beings have an innate responsiveness to music similar to that of the infant and the sound of its mother. This natural instinct remains intact even with the challenges in life brought on by physical, cognitive, or emotional disability. Musicality is a basic human characteristic in all cultures, and a binding element in the socialization of a community. The project was enhanced through the partnership of Lansana Camara and the Sidney Lanier School, a public school for children with disabilities in Gainesville, Florida. Networking between the two programs provides support to the local musicians and artists who teach and care for the children in Guinea and enhances the music education and cultural experiences of the students in Gainesville, Florida. The Sidney Lanier School used internet cameras and a speaker phone in Conakry to link the two ensembles so they could perform for one another. Using a portion of the Sidney Lanier School‟s music budget, instruments made by Group Laiengee and their instructors were purchased and shipped to Gainesville, Florida. The funds were then used to help support housing and food needs for Group Lainegee in Conakry. Meeting the goals of this project are based on a three-stage method: Stage One: The leasing of a home in Conakry for the purpose of providing the musicians and children in the ensemble (some of the children are homeless) with a stable place to live. Stage one has been accomplished through the $5,000 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship award won by Lansana Camara, workshops at public schools, Florida Music Educators Association conferences, and local performances. The musicians and children have a home just outside of Conakry with a gate for safety and space to grow crops that supplement the purchase of rice as a food staple. Stage Two: The purchase of a van to transport the children to Conakry for performances in the downtown area which raises their status level in the society as well as providing small increases in their ability to support themselves. Once the vans are purchased, the ensemble can travel outside of Conakry to generate support and demonstrate their ability to transcend their challenges through the arts throughout Guinea. Stage Three: The leasing of a building in downtown Conakry that can be used as a school and a shop for the participants to sell their handmade instruments. These include koras (African harp) and balofones. The 132

sale of instruments to tourists and the local residents in Conakry would go far toward sustainability and making the project self-sufficient. CURRENT STATUS: This project has met with success and could be replicated in other areas of Guinea and Africa. The goal of leasing a home in Conakry was successful. Through the assistance of the Chicago Arts Orchestra and a fundraising project being organized through the Sidney Lanier School, the stage-two goal of purchasing vans is under way. A second fundraiser involves an event at the Sidney Lanier School to raise the funds for renting the Centre Culturel Franco-Guinéen (C.C.F.G.) theater in Conakry for an evening performance of Group Laiengee. This performance would demonstrate the ability of the children to transcend their challenges by performing in the most famous theatre in Conakry. Ticket sales would generate funds to support the ensemble‟s goal of purchasing vans. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: http://www.oncoursesystems.com/school/webpage.aspx?id=24619&xpage=653994 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_D5S1FJ3os http://www.oncoursesystems.com/school/webpage.aspx?id=24619&xpage=692019 CONTACT INFORMATION: Organization: Sidney Lanier Center Address: 312 NW 16th Avenue, Gainesville, Florida 32601 Phone: 352-262-6533; Fax: 352-955-6885 Contact Persons: Dr. Donald DeVito; Email: devitodr@gm.sbac.edu Lansana Camara; Email: tasanacamara@gmail.com 133

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