Keys of Change aims to advance the lives of children and young people around the world through musical education and access to live classical music performances.
I set up the charity in early 2011 and work with three other trustees, all involved in music and/or education, and a growing number of committed volunteers in many countries. Music is one of the simplest yet strongest ways for individuals around the world to build bridges for peace and make a positive social change.
Over the past four years, Keys of Change has brought classical music, often for the first time, to deprived or suffering audiences, in remote areas of the Amazon basin, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Kolkata and the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima area in Japan, as well as in Greece, Russia and London. Our music has brought alive emotions – fascination, happiness, tears of sadness – and generated hope and encouragement.
By bringing world-class music into the lives of people who rarely, if ever, have an opportunity hear music or learn to play an instrument, we have already made a positive impact on many lives. “Learning to play music has changed my life and that of people around me. Now I can see life differently,” said a student in Ecuador. “The Kyosuke who came back yesterday does not look any different outside, but it is obvious he has gained some meaningful experiences,” said the mother of a student in Fukushima.
Wherever we go to perform, we also set up and fund musical education projects, working in conjunction with local music teachers. In Ecuador, we organise weekly guitar lessons for young people from deprived backgrounds. In Uganda and Sierra Leone, we have provided instruments and music lessons. In Fukushima and India, we have made regular visits to work with young musicians to improve their playing, and give them the opportunity to perform in joint concerts with Keys of Change musicians. In the case of Fukushima, this culminated in our organising for 40 young Japanese musicians to come to London to give a concert with Keys of Change and Orpheus Sinfonia at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in April 2014.
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