The power of music is undeniable, and come December 29, the East Jamaica Conference (EJC) of Seventh-day Adventists will launch the Good Samaritan Inn School of Music, through the initiative, Instruments 4 Change. The goal is to engage at-risk young people in meaningful activities through music.
A direct response to Jamaica’s high crime rate, this programme, the organisation says, is inspired by a need to help rid the country of crime, one community at a time. According to the EJC, “As a church, we are deeply saddened by the escalating crime rate. We recognise that some of our youth are unemployed and are unemployable, so if we can reach these individuals through music, it will open greater opportunities to them.”
Actually, the name Instruments 4 Change is a charming musical play on words. The church, as a body, intends to be an effective instrument of change by literally teaching inner-city youth how to play a musical instrument.
Eric Nathan, president of the EJC, told The Gleaner at a function at Mandela Park on Thursday afternoon that his conference has already met with the Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, and other government officials to present this crime prevention strategy. The Government, he says, is on board.
The EJC explains that they have structured a certified musical education programme that will target unattached youth in and around the surrounding communities of Heroes Circle. This musical thrust is not surprising coming from a church that is known for its abundance of great singers. It was only recently that Reggae Grammy nominee 19-year-old Koffee hailed the Adventist church for their music programme, having been a beneficiary of it herself.