The young musicians of the local Piano Association (PASI) have had two-weeks of professional help from the trio of UK musicians known as the Dionysus Ensemble.
During the past fortnight they were given instrument instruction under expert guidance, shown how to write music and performed in public before an appreciative audience at St Barnabas Cathedral in Honiara.
I feel sure the attachment has been rewarding and gives me satisfaction in knowing of the part I played in encouraging the visit as far back as two years ago when first contacted by the UK Ensemble and when I first raised my interest in seeing a national youth orchestra created in the Solomon Islands.
I strongly believe in music education for young people and would hope before long music education will become an ongoing part of the local high school curriculum.
I say this because music can have a profound impact on the development of young people. Beyond being a recreational activity, it creates opportunities for leadership, engagement, and creativity.
If a national youth orchestra could materialize following the visit I have described then music programmes, as part of an orchestra, would involve working and communicating with others to achieve a common goal. In this way leadership and teamwork skills could then be applied to other areas of life.
I consider that when students learn in a fun and exciting environment, as many will have seen from the images of the PASI students under instruction, they are more interested and engaged in their overall studies. Not only that but music provides a means of self-expression, builds confidence and conquers fears.
Music stimulates imagination to help think out of the box and creative thinking builds the ability to problem solve and to come up with best solutions to problems.
I strongly believe that having a music education can provide the necessary core values for students to thrive in all areas of life from academics, to relationships to careers.
I extend my thanks to the Dionysus trio for making the long journey to the Solomon Islands, for the creative instruction given to PASI members and for the gift of sheet music given to the Honiara Public Library.
I thank, too, the British High Commission for local accommodation arrangements and Solomon Airlines for gifted air passages to and from Brisbane.
My thanks, also to the Archbishop and clergy of the Honiara St Barnabas Cathedral for the venue of the public concert on 14 January 2020, when the PASI musicians proudly demonstrated their instrumental skills.
Finally, to the volunteer teachers of PASI and those who assisted the training project with transport – thank you.