This is a campaign to provide ukuleles and tutoring to rural and underpriveleged schools in the Rayong province of Thailand.
This project aims to enrich the musical education of children in the Rayong province of Thailand by providing them with ukuleles - a cheap, fun, hip and easy way to begin learning about music. The ukulele has become vastly popular in Thailand in the past four years, and many local musicians have begun adopting it into their popular songs.
Three proposed schools in Rayong to take part in the project are vastly underfunded and have very few resources for the students. In partnership with the Mechai Viravaidya Foundation and Ribbee Ukulele Paradise, we intend to provide the resources of musical instruments and instruction to students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to learn.
We have already seen a successful example of this with the MPS Bamboo Band (Thailand's biggest ukulele band!) 28 students, over the course of 4 months, have gone from having no musical ability to being able to perform over 10 songs! (both Thai and Western) These students have gained confidence in themselves, understand the value of working together as a team and a band, and are now even writing their own songs! You can see their first song they practiced at the youtube link provided. That was filmed after 2 weeks of having their ukuleles!
All of us associated with this project know very well that it will be successful and we will make it happen! All we need is help from you to get it going!
If the tipping point is reached, we will be able to purchase the ukuleles for one class from Ribbee Ukulele Paradise - Thailand's largest distributor of ukuleles and the organizers of the Thailand Ukulele Festival. They have already pledged to offer us ukuleles at a 40% charitable discount. Each ukulele will cost an average of 60 USD. Each class consists of an average of 28-30 students.
Once the tipping point is reached and ukuleles have been acquired, myself, along with some representatives from Ribbee as well as other local musical talents who have donated their time to the project, will travel to the school to provide an opening workshop over the course of two days. During the workshop, students will learn basic chords and strums, and we will work towards the first concert-ready song.
Over successive weeks I, with an assisting instructor, will continue to return to the school to provide ongoing tutorials, and work towards getting the students performance ready, at which point they will be able to take part in a number of different concerts, competitions and festivals taking place locally as well as in Bangkok!
The goal I have set of 5,900 USD includes the cost of ukuleles for three different schools in the Rayong province (which have already been selected), as well as the estimated costs of a second full-time mobile instructor for two months. Costs of transportation, lodging, food, etc. have already been pledged by the other contributing partners. My time is free, as I am already supported by the Mechai Viravaidya Foundation! My estimated costs for an assisting instructor (whom I have already contacted and had verbal agreement from) would be 400 USD per month.