News / Africa

Free Music Lessons for Houston's Young ... and maybe Africa

Part 3 of a weekly series on Africa's Rising Stars

Garrin Chillis (above) and a friend from Ghana, Martin Kabutey Adjovu, give Houston children a love of music and school. (Courtesy Garrin Chillis)
Garrin Chillis (above) and a friend from Ghana, Martin Kabutey Adjovu, give Houston children a love of music and school. (Courtesy Garrin Chillis)
Kwame Ofori
Two friends in Texas have come together to build the music scene in Houston, Texas. Garrin Chillis and Martin Kabutey Adjovu want to strengthen the musical skills of their young students. They believe building the music skills of neighborhood young people will guarantee their educational and social growth through the community music program the two young men have developed.
 
The program they have started for the youth of the Harris County acts as an after-school program where young people in the community can attend and keep themselves occupied while developing their talent. These lessons sometimes take place in local churches or at the youths’ own homes.
 
Chillis is their teacher and a local rhythm and blues recording artist. He is known professionally as “G chillz.”
 
Music is a way to keep kids in school

“To put your kids through music programs like this in an after-school program like this is a lot of money,” said Martin, a friend of G chillz, the performer’s manager and his partner in the project that offers free music lessons to youth in the community. “G chillz having the love for kids and having the love for music decided to do something to help the young ones coming up.”
 
Kwame Ofori talks to the partners in Houston music education
Kwame Ofori talks to the partners in Houston music educationi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

G-chillz also speaks of how the program ultimately keeps the young participants out of trouble and focused in school. He does this through a strategy he employs which incorporates the steady growth and maintenance of good grades. This determines the young participant’s continued enrollment in the program.
 
On the issue of receiving support from the community and actually showing up for some of the shows that exhibit the young talent, G chillz emphasizes that indeed there is support for the program from the community. The community attends his stage appearances to promote his music as a sign of apprectaion for teaching their children. He believes that as he grows as an artist, the community music program will grow with him.
 
One of the challenges faced with such programs, they agreed, is the fact that many parents would prefer their kids get “real jobs” and become doctors or lawyers. Parents often see the arts or specifically music as a dead-end career.  
 
G chillz said, “That is why it’s very difficult for some kids to truly shine. Because you are not going to get a parent who is as dependable and so driven for that child to make it.
 
“So I feel, like we should have more agencies out there - or community-based agencies - to help the community out”, said G Chillz. He recounted that his mother was supportive enough to put him through San Jacinto College to study music.
 
Martin said he wants to take the program to Ghana where he is originally from - and all over Africa - to help develop the music terrain among the youth in Africa. He vowed to make that a reality.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid