Music Enrichment Program
“As a music producer, I have witnessed the ability of music to restitch the soul and deliver a message countless times. Integrating this knowledge with my experiences in developing countries, with the aim of educating and ultimately eradicating some of the most egregious issues and oversights of humanity, is my mission and my passion.”
– Darcy Ataman
Founder/CEO Make Music Matter
MMM’s Music Enrichment Program (MEP) engages and educates youth affected by extreme poverty through two primary components: public health education, and music education. Local educators facilitate interactive seminars, using songwriting and other media to teach youth about issues affecting their communities, like conflict, HIV/AIDS, and violence against women.
This format offers participants the opportunity to discuss the challenges and issues confronting them, their families and the wider community. In effect, MEP participants teach each other by sharing their experiences. After sharing their stories and establishing common ground, MEP participants are encouraged to make positive choices about their individual futures. For example, by educating youth on HIV/AIDS and encouraging participants to adopt healthy behaviors, MEP helps lower infection and transmission rates.
Cooperative music-making and performance, in the case of many of these young people, is a tool for rehabilitation, therapy and personal development. Working together develops leadership and group work skills, while building self-confidence and a sense of identity. One of our objectives is to foster leadership skills that will empower participants to share the information they receive with their friends and families. This will ultimately result in lasting, measurable change in their families and communities.
Music created by participants is also used as a tool for health education. With the help of local musicians, MEP songs are professionally recorded, collected, and disseminated back to the local communities through hard copies and over local radio stations as advocacy and prevention tools. Live performances and digital distribution also ensure the MEP’s health messages are accessible, and spread easily.
Because the MEP targets the issues facing individual communities, it can be as diverse and adaptable as music itself. For example, communities coping with HIV/AIDS, child soldiers and survivors of war can all benefit from the MEP. The social isolation experienced by each of these populations often directly contributes to a deterioration of physical and emotional well-being.
Why take our word for it? See Make Music Matter’s Music Enrichment Program in action and hear firsthand from the students what it means to them.