In Pochaiv, Ukraine, tradition and culture is tightly woven into the fabric of the community. Parents and teachers dutifully teach long-standing customs and traditions to younger generations in order to keep Ukrainian culture strong. Pride in one’s culture creates a lasting bond among community members, and strengthens solidarity between families.
Music is an extremely important part of Ukrainian history. The earliest form of Ukrainian music was used to signal community members, imitate the sounds of nature, and to celebrate important events such as births and weddings.
Our Pochaiv site offers an after-school music class where sponsored children learn about traditional Ukrainian music. The children learn the history behind folk songs, instruments and ancient composers. The most exciting part of the class is when the students get a chance to make their own music!
The children play reed-pipes, an ancient folklore instrument similar to a recorder. In the class of 30 students, however, there were only five reed-pipes to go around. The lack of instruments meant that the children had very limited time to practice, and couldn’t play songs together as a group.
One day, a special shipment of 25 new reed-pipes arrived at the school! Our caring supporters donated the instruments through our gift catalogue – enough for each student to have their own. “We were dreaming about this instrument for a long time, but we couldn’t afford it ourselves,” says Hanna Koshyk, the school principal. “the new gifted reed-pipes cover the whole ensemble!”
The class is now noisy and full of life, as the students are able to practice on their own. The group is currently learning a collection of instrumental folk songs, and love performing them for their friends and family! “Ensemble participation develops [the children],” says Hanna. “They are learning how to communicate and collaborate with each other!”
“Thank you, supporters, for making our children happy,” Hanna expresses. “We pray for you!”