Inner-City Children to Benefit from Marley Music Room

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (third left), plays the piano at the recently opened Marley Music Room at the GraceKennedy/Parade Gardens Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre, on Water Lane, in Kingston. Surrounding the Minister are students from the Holy Family Primary and Infant School and the Dupont Primary School. Looking on (from fourth left) are Director of Cultural Policy, Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Marisa Benain and Chief Executive Officer, GraceKennedy Foods, Mrs. Andrea Coy. The facility was officially opened during a ceremony on September 14.

Story Highlights

  • Children from inner-city communities in Kingston are to benefit from the opening of the Marley Music Room at the GraceKennedy/Parade Gardens Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre, in downtown Kingston.
  • The Marley Music Room is a partnership between the Bob Marley Foundation and the Grace and Staff Community Development Foundation, and was furnished at a cost of $1.5 million.

Children from inner-city communities in Kingston are to benefit from the opening of the Marley Music Room at the GraceKennedy/Parade Gardens Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre, in downtown Kingston.

The facility was officially opened during a ceremony held at the centre on Water Lane on September 14.

The Marley Music Room is a partnership between the Bob Marley Foundation and the Grace and Staff Community Development Foundation, and was furnished at a cost of $1.5 million.

In his address at the opening, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said the provision of musical instruments and music instructors is a progressive move towards the improvement of teaching and learning.

“We recognise in education that children learn through different approaches and means. A child who might be considered slow in math or the sciences may very well excel in music and so a smart teacher will use that love for music to excite the child’s interest in other subjects,” Senator Reid said.

The Minister argued that the process of teaching and learning has to be creative, where children become excited about the process and make efforts to go to school so that they can learn.

He said with the gift of the music room, it is hoped that children will simply love school and work hard and become successful.

Senator Reid cited the successes gained with the First Global Bank’s music in education programme. First Global is a member of the GraceKennedy Group of companies.

“Children’s improved access to musical experiences resulted in greater motivation to learning (with) 90 per cent improvement in the status of literacy and numeracy in the classes in which the project is implemented,” he noted.

Senator Reid said the effective practices were duplicated in the wider educational system, resulting in a greater number of students becoming literate and numerate and fully prepared to access secondary education at the end of their primary studies.

“We wish the staff and students who use this music room success in the teaching and learning activities,” he said.

For her part, General Manager of the Bob Marley Foundation, Mrs. Marie Bruce, said the music room is the brainchild of Cedella Marley, daughter of the late reggae superstar, Bob Marley.

She also expressed appreciation to the GraceKennedy Group for assisting to bring the project to fruition.

Chairman of the Grace and Staff Community Development Foundation, James Moss-Solomon, said the presence of the music room is a way forward for many young people.

“In addition to the music that they teach here, we will also teach people what goes behind the music. We hope to take this forward to teach young people how to set up quickly on the stage and how to check things beforehand, so that everything goes smoothly,” Mr. Moss-Solomon said.

The music room is equipped with a variety of musical instruments, including guitars, drums, keyboards and recorders.

The facility aims to develop the students’ music skills and lay the foundation for further educational and vocational development. Music lessons will be delivered by the Alpha Institute.

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