When Mr. Rudy came to Mayatan five years ago, primary students received no formal training in music, just whatever their regular classroom teachers had been able to provide: scattered songs that the teachers knew and instruments when teachers could find them and knew how to play.
The school had hired Mr. Hernan not long before Rudy, but he only taught, and continues to teach, secondary music and led the school marching band. The band, naturally, has grown since then too, from just a handful of drums to an orderly procession of students with bass drums, snares, marimbas, and more.
Since hiring two music teachers, Mayatan has come a long way. The students begin to learn music in first grade, which means they are beginning to accumulate much better understandings of music. They practice regularly and learn theory, building up catalogs of songs and practicing on flutes, keyboards, guitars, percussion, and more by the time they leave Mayatan.
We've noticed major improvements since focusing on music from a young age; whether it's learning notation, singing nursery rhymes and the national anthem, or writing out notation, music is now an integral part of our curriculum.
In addition to helping students hone their creativity, music helps them appreciate and tap into their national culture. One of the most important uses of music is at "Día Folklorico," a holiday that celebrates folk music, dance, dress, and other customs. From a young age, Mayatan students learn to play traditional songs like "Conozco Honduras" and "Candu," old ballads that describe traditions, daily life, and peasant and folk culture in their country.
Just because we've progressed, however, doesn't mean that we don't have a long way to go. Our music program is outfitted with donated instruments and materials, including books, sheet music, and stereo and PA equipment. Find out about our needs and how you can support music at Mayatan.