For children living in poverty, refugees, new immigrants, those living in broken homes and or dysfunctional families, suffering from child abuse, in communities plagued by crime, alcohol and drug abuse, there are extensive, negative, long-term implications which can cause severe issues for the children and their communities as a whole - ongoing.
Many children as they grow up - regardless of their circumstances - can become disaffected and suffer severely from the effects of fear, abuse, a lack of self-confidence/self-esteem, and many experience extreme loneliness, deprivation, depression and boredom. Chronic ill health is also a likely consequence. This is particularly the case within communities experiencing disadvantage. It can all end very badly for these young people, their families and the community. It’s a process that not only encourages disassociation, but the disintegration of community itself. If it is left to the children, they often deal with it very poorly, frequently leave school early, and also may resort to illegal drugs and alcohol abuse; so the disaffection, delinquency, crime, drug and alcohol abuse continues and intensifies - and it is passed on from one generation to the next.
There is far too much disparity in our population and seems as though it's getting worse. So to just continue to try to do more of things that we know don't work very well, and continuing to expect or hope for a different outcome, is clearly illogical. It has to be a different approach and one based on a commitment to parity, association, and positive community development. We need something for our children that breaks this nexus - something that checks the problem before it takes hold - or checks it when it does.
And the worst of it? The 'soft bigotry of low expectations'...
Changing the tune...
All children need a positive social context; they need, as all human beings need - to belong – to be a part of something, a family, a community or even a gang.
Establishing a Symphony For Life program is all about positive connecting, re-associating, bonding, creating, and changing lives - and resetting expectations. It’s about joining people together in a harmonious musical community – made up of many differences – to get together and collaborate to explore ideas, emotion, imagination, and to exercise curiosity and creativity. It’s very much about creating an encouraging, fun environment, where children can learn, want to be there – more than anything – and get tremendous value out of their experience of this activity. Music is fundamentally connected with our humanity and that’s why we use music to achieve these goals. And it works.
Also, it is about bonding the family, the community and society together - all emanating out from the social cohesion of community and social change. More than anything these programs are capacity-building - imparting not only the ability to change but instilling a lasting resilience into the process too.
There are few programs anywhere, that can claim to take this very different path: to be designed to unify, develop key principles of good character, establish a culture of teamwork, develop a strong commitment to community, and provide joyful cultural activity, in artistic excellence, as does this program – Symphony For Life – truly is for the life of the participant.
So instead of 'low expectations' - we will help them reach their Everests, in a Symphony For Life...