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)
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid