Monday, June 25, 2012

Harmon Grant and Music

Suzanne has coordinated the Harmon Music Grant in the DR Congo since we arrived. The Harmon Grant provides keyboards/pianos to those who will learn basic music conducting skills and how to play the piano. Basically, if a person will agree to learn music, and then be willing to share their musical talents with others by playing for Church meetings or teaching others to play/conduct,the Harmon Grant provides a keyboard for them. The Congolese love music. They love to sing the hymns of the Church. They have a natural ability to sing on key. Example: recently, one of our volunteers in the office had a birthday, Suzanne made a birthday cake (perhaps his first cake ever) and there were several PEF applicants and other students in the office. They sang "happy birthday" to him in perfect harmony. They did it once in French, then regrouped to determine who would sing what parts, the sang it again in French, then English, then Lingala. We have never heard such a great version of Happy Birthday. Wherever we go, people seek out Suzanne and ask for music lessons. Many wards do not have pianist. In fact, many wards do not have pianos. From young children to even the Area 70 are numbered among Suzanne's students Here is a Member of the Quorum of Seventy learning simple hymns with Suzanne. One of Suzanne's early students. This young sister was asked to lead the music in Sacrament Meeting. She had never led music and did not know how to lead music correctly. Here she has just finished the conducting course and is very proud of herself. The Seminary and Institute Secretary taking lessons. At Suzanne's discretion, students may receive a keyboard - on loan - with which to practice. Then, when they have completed the music courses and demonstrated their willingness to serve others or play for meetings - and when their bishop and stake president have signed off, they may receive the key board to keep. One of Suzanne's students had never played piano before starting lessons. He was given a keyboard on which to practice. He took it home and practiced tirelessly. We attended a stake conference, and there he was, playing prelude music. This is a great program. Joseph is a very musical young man. He and Suzanne have worked together with choirs and the like. He has been teaching several people in his stake to play the piano. It is important that good efforts continue after we are gone Suzanne and her legion of fans..