FUNDACIÓN MUSICA Y PAIS (Music and Country) is a non-profit, non-governmental corporation that promotes the value of music and music education as an instrument of transformation and social change.
It was founded in 2013 by María del Carmen Gil, a renowned Pianist, Educator and the former Director of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. Also, Gil is the creator of numerous educational and community initiatives to provide access to music, arts, and music education for children, youth, and the Puerto Rican community in general.
Musica y Pais advocates for music education as a citizen’s right. Also, it offers a varied platform of programs and initiatives for Puerto Rican children and youth to discover, train, develop and express their musical talent, no matter their social or economic status.
The organization aspires to be a powerful platform for collaboration and coordination between Puerto Rico’s music training programs and projects. It creates initiatives and programs that expose, exalts, and projects the best musical talent of the new generations of up and coming musicians. Also, it manages and promotes the creation of new opportunities that develop and expand workshops for the musical youth of Puerto Rico.
Musica y Pais offers three programs to achieve its mission: Music for All, the PR Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Music to Heal.
MUSIC FOR ALL
Music For All provides opportunities for children and young people to receive musical training in their village and school centers. We work in collaboration and alliance with the public, private schools, social and community organizations, foundations, and non-profit organizations that serve as hosts for our program. Music for All serves a student population of approximately 1,200 students annually from the ages of Head Start through high school.
The program has a highly specialized and professional faculty. Also, a musical curriculum that covers from Pre-K-12 and includes musical initiation, instrument learning, and the creation of diverse musical groups such as choir, bells, guitar ensembles, percussion, popular music, Puerto Rican and urban music, among others. Each center project is developed and adapted to the profile and needs of the community we serve, including the special education student population. Music for Everyone is your solution if you want to provide an excellent music program for your school, center, or community.
MUSIC TO HEAL
To date, Music to Heal has impacted over 700 children of the Network of Shelters for Children of Puerto Rico after the passage of Hurricane Maria. Music therapy based on the principle music has healing elements. The sessions have clinical-therapeutic objectives to provide post-hurricane containment and relief. They are designed to produce activities where children can express their fears, emotions, experiences, and experiences.
The children and young participants are victims of violence and belong to the most vulnerable populations in the Country, live separately from their families, and are mostly below the poverty level. Hurricane Maria affected the structures and elements of emotional support that were part of the lives of these children and youth. During the sessions, they learn emotion management, development of focused attention and self-regulation, mindfulness, self-esteem and working together, while developing musical skills, In the process, their innate talent is uncovered, and the participants find a space of recreation, creativity, and enjoyment.
PR YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The PR Youth Symphony Orchestra (OSJPR) is a unique orchestral training program where young musicians study in different music education programs across the island and receive advanced level training through practical experiences that enable them to succeed as professional musicians.
The orchestra has a student population between the ages of 11-30 years from different music training programs and private studies of renowned teachers in Puerto Rico. Represented in the orchestra are more than 30 municipalities across the island, joining in a unique national orchestral platform. The OSJPR is a space for consultation and community for these talented young musicians in training,
Maestro Carlos Ávila Báez is the musical director of the OSJPR who also has a team of highly specialized faculty musicians from the PR Symphony Orchestra who support the orchestral formation work of young people through sectionals and weekly rehearsals. We have workshop power for each family and subfamily of instruments.
Young people who aspire to be part of this unique program must qualify through a rigorous audition to be admitted to the PR Youth Symphony Orchestra. Every applicant admitted to the program is a beneficiary of a full scholarship.
According to Maria del Carmen Gil, “We work so that music education ceases to be the privilege of a few and becomes the right of all Puerto Ricans.”