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Revive la Música changed the life of a music teacher from Yabucoa

The impact of a simple positive gesture made to a child or young person can have such a great repercussion that it could lead them to reconsider what they want to dedicate for the rest of their life.

When he was studying at the Ramón Quiñones Medina High School in Yabucoa, the young Emmanuel Lebron Molina was positively impacted by a donation received in the classroom thanks to the program Revive the music, from the Banco Popular Foundation and the Luis A. Ferré Foundation. To the point that Today, nearly 10 years later, today’s music teacher is once again benefited by the program having received new instruments to use with their students.

“In the year 2021 I was given the task of coming to the Ana Delia Flores Santana school, in the town of Fajardo, to teach a music class to ninth grade students. The first day I arrived I found the news and the panorama that there were no musical instruments”, narrated the 28-year-old teacher. “It is a great challenge to give a music class without having instruments. It can be achieved, but it’s not the same, since I wanted to give the student an experience of a full music class, that they have that experience of practicing and playing with the instrument”.

Emmanuel Lebrón teaches music classes to ninth grade students at the Ana Delia Flores Santana School in Fajardo. (Ramon “Tonito” Zayas)

It was at that moment that he remembered the moment in which his first music teacher in Yabucoa had benefited from the Revive la Música program. “I communicated with the teacher and he told me the process I had to do”narrated the musician, who mainly plays the trombone, but who also dominates the guitar, the electric bass and the piano. “I wrote my email, I sent it to the people at the Foundation and they responded super fast. The instruments arrived in less than a month and the faces of the boys, when they suddenly saw me arriving with the boxes of instruments, was something else. For me, as a teacher, it was an incredible emotion”. Among the new instruments received at this Fajardo school included a set of congas, guitars, a clarinet, a trombone, a flute and a trumpet, among others.

revive the music

Since 2006, the Revive La Música initiative began as part of a collaboration between Fundación Banco Popular and Fundación Luis A. Ferré. Its mission has always been to promote music education in schools and communities through donations of instruments and create spaces for student musical performances alongside renowned artists and musicians in Puerto Rico.

More than 2,000 students have benefited from over 1,900 instruments donated to various music programs in schools and non-profit organizations. During 2020 and 2021, through this program, 27 schools and non-profit organizations have been supported and more than 130 musical instruments have been awarded.

In the case of Lebrón Molina, in addition to learning to play a musical instrument donated by the program, he was also invited to play in a concert held by Revive la Música at the Conservatory of Music with the salsa orchestra NG2. “That experience helped me to reaffirm the concept of what I supposedly wanted to do, which was to be a musician, but that I had not had any previous experience of playing live”mentioned the musician, who began playing as a student in the Christian music group Los Lírios del Valle of the Millán family in Yabucoa. “By having the experience of climbing on a stage with an artist like NG2, and later with Cultura Profética and La Secta, I was able to confirm that this was what I really wanted to do with my life”.

Group of young musicians from the Escuela Superior Ramón Quiñones Medina, in Yabucoa, together with the members of the group NG2 and their music teacher, Leftie O. Millán, in the center with a striped shirt.
Photo from 2011 where the group of young musicians from the Escuela Superior Ramón Quiñones Medina in Yabucoa appears, together with the members of the group NG2 and their music teacher, Leftie O. Millán, in the center with a striped shirt. (Supplied)

Once he graduated from high school, Lebrón Molina auditioned for the Conservatory of Music where he was accepted and where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in musical performance, focused on classical music on the trombone.

importance of music

This musician and teacher is clear that music programs in schools must be present and available to students, especially in those stages of growth and maturity. “Giving that approach to what music is to young people in the early stages of their youth, creates sensitivity in them as people”, explained the educator, who is in his first year of work at the Ana Delia Flores Santana School. “In addition to the fact that I am creating a new experience for them since not everyone can be an athlete or a dancer. If in the future, these experiences can help them get away from the street and from bad things, even better”.

Lebrón Molina understands that foundations and programs such as Revive la Música are key to the development of youth on the island because of the opportunities they open up and the mark they leave on each of the people they touch. “It is extremely necessary that programs like these exist, since they make it possible for students or people to have accessibility, for example, to instruments that are often expensive and that perhaps, otherwise, many of these students would not have the access to touch them. In such a short time, several talents have already emerged in my classes who, if they want, could go far in music”.

Interested in donating or receiving instruments

People interested in making donations of instruments for the Revive la Música program can do so throughout the year through the Banco Popular Foundation, by calling 787-722-7388 or by writing to us at [email protected]. In addition to that, if you run a music program at a public system school or non-profit organization in need of musical instruments, they can be requested by filling out a form. The period to apply will be from March 14 to April 14, 2022. For more information, go to https://www.fundacionbancopopular.org/desarrollo-de-talento-musical/#revive-la-musica.

Among the new instruments received at this Fajardo school by Revive la Música included a set of congas, two guitars, a clarinet, a trombone, a flute and a trumpet, among others.
Among the new instruments received at this Fajardo school by Revive la Música included a set of congas, two guitars, a clarinet, a trombone, a flute and a trumpet, among others. (Ramon “Tonito” Zayas)

“Revive la Música is one of our priority initiatives because we have seen that the impact of each instrument multiplies in possibilities in the hands of the students who participate in the programs we support. We aspire that, through music education, our children and young people become people with greater sensitivity, creativity and commitment to their communities and Puerto Rico” Beatrice Polhamusexecutive director of the Banco Popular Foundation

“We remain committed to collaborating and helping talented young people have access to resources and tools that help them develop their career in the arts. It is an honor to witness and do our bit in the birth and development of great artists. We believe in the potential of Puerto Rico in the arts and we want to be part of the team that builds that promising future united by a universal theme such as music”Maria Luisa Ferre RangelPresident of the Board of Trustees of the Luis A. Ferré Foundation

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