We are aiming to establish many ukulele bands around rural and impoverished areas in Thailand. The ukulele is an instrument that has been highly adopted in mainstream Thai music, and Thai children are especially excited about playing it!
We are achieving our goal by sponsoring ukuleles for the children at selected schools through private donorship and funds dedicated from the business community. Not only do the children receive ukuleles, but they also receive tutoring, and the chance to perform amongst other schools in regular concerts!
I have been living and working here in Thailand for the past eight years. I am the ukulele champion of Thailand 2011, and I am currently working with the Mechai Viravaidya Foundation to help raise the level of education in rural Thailand. I am the organizer and lead instructor for this project. Once the funds are received, I, along with other local musical talents who have invested their time, will deliver the ukuleles to the school and provide an initial workshop for the children over the course of two days. Then, with the help of a local instructor and other ukulele students, we will continue to provide tutoring to the children over the next several months.
This project has already been successful with the MPS Bamboo Band, (currently) Thailand's biggest ukulele band with 28 members! Within four months, they have learned how to play and perform 8 songs, have performed on a number of occasions, are more confident, and even writing their own music!