Music Workshop | Imvula Music Program

The Imvula Music Program in Gugulethu, Cape Town South Africa held a music workshop with Playing For Change Band member Mermans Mosengo, who demonstrated blues music for the students. He said that “Sometimes when there’s a lot of pain, a lot of suffering, music is the way to overcome these pains,” and we at the PFCF … Read More

Balafon Performance | Kirina, Mali

Ecole de Musique de Kirina- Mali PFCF music students Lamine and Moussa Kouyate at the École De Musique de Kirina dedicate their performance of the balafon  to the PFCF family and community. SUPPORT THIS PROGRAM

My return to Ghana

    By Thea Karki One of the things that struck me during my return trip to Ghana was talent, and how it can come from almost anywhere. And that when it is recognized and cultivated incredible things can happen. The first day I visited the Bizung School I sat in a classroom talking to the … Read More

Music And Dance at Bizung (Ghana)

  In early July, students from Tufts University traveled to Ghana to visit the Bizung School of Music & Dance. While the students were there they learned about the local culture through traditional African drumming and dance classes; in addition they had the opportunity to exchange ideas and share their culture with the students and … Read More

Sibusiso Nyamakazi Administrator

Sibusiso Nyamakazi

Administrator, Imvula Music Program, Gugulethu South Africa Sibusiso Nyamakazi is a writer, public speaker and musician involved in several social and artistic projects in the Cape Town area. He studied Management at the CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) and joined the Imvula team in 2016. Sbu is the cofounder of the Philippi Music Project, … Read More

Priscilia de Mita Operations Coordinator

Priscilia de Mita

Operations Coordinator Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, Priscilia was raised in a music and arts loving family, which led her to start her piano training at the age of 5, and join a professional children’s choir based in Jakarta a year after. After 12 years of musical training and performing all around the world, she continued … Read More

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” on Marimba

Enjoy this performance of marimba students at the Imvula Music Program, playing the South African tune “Mbube” known as “The Lion Sleeps tonight.” SUPPORT THIS PROGRAM

Cultural Preservation at Joudour Sahara

  Joudour Sahara Music Program   The preservation of traditional culture is one of the biggest priorities at our program in M’hamid El Ghizlane. M’hamid is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, and multi-cultural community in the Sahara desert comprised of different ethnic tribes who originated from various parts of Saharan and Eastern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the … Read More

Feel The Heat ! William Aura reports from Tintale, Nepal

On the road again. PFCF Nepal administrator Ishor Bajracharya and myself depart Lalitpur on a rock n’ roll 10-hour jeep ride to remote Tintale village in the Udayapur district of Eastern Nepal. Traveling this route is usually grueling especially when experiencing an Indian-style heat-wave that without any air conditioning quickly reaches the point of being … Read More

Pichanan Kanhajan (Olive) Drum Teacher

Pichanan Kanhajan (Olive)

Drum Teacher Khlong Toey Music Program – Thailand Olive started to learn drums at the age of 10, as her father was teaching her. She continued to practice on her own as she grew up and in high school she developed an interest for guitar as well. She started to teach herself, then decided to … Read More

Nuttee Namthongborisut (Nut) Vocal Teacher

Nuttee Namthongborisut (Nut)

Vocal Teacher Khlong Toey Music Program – Thailand Nut joined found his love for music when he was only 12 years old and began entering himself into singing contests. Besides the contests, Nut has been singing professionally in various events since he was a child, in order to support his family and lighten their load. … Read More

Nednapa Inpithak (Num) Ukulele Teacher

Nednapa Inpithak (Num)

Ukulele Teacher Khlong Toey Music Program – Thailand Num started playing music at the age of 7. Her very first teacher was her father and at that time, Num viewed music as a real challenge for her skills. She believed that one had to practice very hard in order to become as good as the … Read More

Atichat Nakhornchai (Kan) Piano Teacher

Atichat Nakhornchai (Kan)

Piano Teacher Khlong Toey Music Program – Thailand The first time Kan played music was in high school, when his friends persuaded him to join the school music club. The following year he entered the Luk Thung band (Thai country music) at the school until he graduated. He then went on to study music at … Read More

A vocal lesson at the Imvula Music Program in South Africa

Imvula Music Program, Gugulethu, South Africa Check out this beautiful video from the Imvula Music Program Sowabo Primary School vocal students preparing for a local choir contest in case they make it.  This program brings music education to several primary & secondary schools in the Township of #Gugulethu, outside of Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa. One interesting thing is that … Read More

Join William Aura in Bangladesh

PFCF Asian program director, William Aura visits the Mirpur Music Program, in Dhaka, Bangladesh WE HAVE ARRIVED IN DHAKA Ishor, Shyam and myself were picked up at the airport by Tuhin and Raju of the PFCF music program here. All of us are enjoying learning about Bangala culture. We share food, get to know each … Read More

Ecole de Musique de Kirina celebrates International Jazz Day

Ecole de Musique de Kirina- Mali PFCF students at École De Musique de Kirina celebrate International Jazz Day with a special music lesson on jazz for the school’s teachers and students. This lesson covers the history and importance of jazz as well as practicing jazz on traditional Malian instruments, reminding us of the important African roots of jazz … Read More

Bringing Joy to the Township

  This afternoon has been very special for our music students at the Vuyani Primary School, in Gugulethu (Imvula Music Program), as they received the visit of three amazing musicians from the Republic Democratic of the Congo: Mermans Mosengo, from the Playing For Change Band, Papy « Fou de Son », and Glody, a young and talented … Read More

La Fondation Playing For Change: video de présentation

Depuis 2007, nous utilisons la musique comme un outil de changement, en créant des écoles de musique et des programmes éducatifs à travers le monde. Nous travaillons dans des lieux qui sont généralement riches culturellement, mais pauvres sur un plan économique. Grâce à votre soutien, nous avons développé 15 programmes dans 11 pays à ce … Read More

La Fundación Playing For Change: video de presentación en castellano

Desde 2007, en la Fundación Playing For Change usamos la música como herramienta de cambio, creando escuelas de música y programas educativos en lugares de escasos recursos económicos a través del mundo. Gracias a su apoyo, hemos desarrollado 15 programas en 11 países. Más de 2000 niños aprenden danza, instrumentos musicales, idiomas y teoría musical en clases … Read More

Listen To The Music, Change The World!

We are happy to announce that the newest Playing For Change album will be available on April 20th! > 100% of Playing For Change’s profits from this album will go to the Playing For Change Foundation Listen to the Music, available April 20th, 2018, is Playing For Change’s newest body of work comprising 12 new … Read More

A marimba class at the Imvula Music Program in South Africa

Imvula Music Program, Gugulethu, South Africa A glimpse of a marimba class at the vuyani school, in Gugulethu South Africa. Teacher Paul Matisso teaches the famous South African classic song “Qongqothwane” aka” The Click Song”,  to his young students. This traditional Xhosa song was made famous by Myriam Makeeba in the 60’s. SUPPORT THIS PROGRAM

Meet with Chamae Joudour Sahara Music Program, Morocco

Meet with Chamae

Chaimae Redouani is an 18 year old student at the Joudour Sahara Music Program in M’hamid el Ghizlane. Her family belongs to the Arib tribe of the Sahara desert, and Chaimae practices the traditional dance, or ragsa, that accompanies the ancestral Chamra music tradition of the Arib tribe.

Have You Ever Heard A Song In Tamazight?

Joudour Sahara Music Program Kasem Jardouj is a local musician from the small village of Regabi outside of M’hamid el Ghizlane. He is a self-taught musician, and in February of 2018 went on a tour with local band Generation Taragalte in Mali as part of the Cultural Caravan of Peace. He belongs to the Amazigh … Read More

A Female Guitarist In Mali??

Meet Oumou Koulsoum Diarra, a young musician who conducts workshops to the students at Playing For Change Foundation’s Ecole de Musique de Kirina in Mali. Her presence as one of the only female instrumentalists in the area is significant, and serves as an inspiration to the girls she teaches. Here she explains how the school has impacted her … Read More

An Award For The Mothers

We’re proud to announce that the Adolf Busch Award, an organization dedicated to recognizing and rewarding individuals and organizations that use music for social good, honored the Playing For Change Foundation with their annual reward, specifically to the Tintale Village Mother’s Society. The $5,000 award will support the Tintale Village Mother’s Society, located in the remote Udayapur District … Read More

If This Doesn’t Make You Want To Learn The Kora, What Will?

Boubacar studies kora at Ecole de Musique de Kirina and shares with us his interpretation of the traditional Malian tune “Kaira” in this video. Follow the project on Facebook This video has been entirely produced and posted by our local program team in Mali. SUPPORT OUR WORK

Raju Uddin Percussion teacher, Bangladesh

Raju Uddin

Percussion teacher Mirpur Music Program – Bangladesh Raju is a local drummer from Mirpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He began playing music when he was in high school, eventually forming a band called Shortoli in 2007. Before his work with the Playing For Change Foundation, Raju was working in a music store in downtown Dhaka and was … Read More

A video message from our Co-Founder

As part of our International Women’s Day campaign and on this day of love, please join our Co-founder and Board President, Whitney Kroenke, in sending a message of inspiration, love and support to the brave young women at PFC Foundation programs around the world. A kind word of encouragement goes a long way. Leave a … Read More

A DOLLAR FOR A DREAM

“It can take as little as $1 to change the course of a person’s life. Donate $1 or as much as you can but please give today! “

Your Good Gift Was Meaningful Today

A glimpse into the daily life of women in rural Nepal, who work tirelessly every day using antiquated tools for everyday chores. They’re careful, but injuries happen. Unfortunately, these women don’t have access to medical care, and traveling to a doctor can take days, leaving many of the women with no choice but to continue … Read More

A video update from the Tintale village Mother’s Society in Nepal

We hope you had a great holiday season, and a happy new year! Today we come to you with an update from the Mother’s Society in Nepal, a program in which 36 local women have banded together to educate rural Nepali communities about the dangers of human trafficking.  Their job has, unfortunately, only gotten harder … Read More

A Special Thank You from PFC musician Roberto Luti

Happy holidays to all of our Playing For Change family around the world! We wanted to take this time to express our gratitude to you, our supporters. For 10 years, you have stood by us and made our work possible. We love and appreciate every single one of you.  Please check out the special Thank … Read More

Introducing our new partner program in Mexico Baja Musical Arts Initiative, Tijuana, Mexico

Introducing our new partner program in Mexico

Baja Musical Arts Initiative, Tijuana, Mexico Youth in Mexico have been impacted by the growth of drug activity and violence infiltrating their neighborhoods and communities. The instability and risks that youth face in this type of environment are barriers to their education and their ability to feel safe and protected. Thankfully, there is hope. Organizations … Read More

Music Workshop in Morocco Joudour Sahara Music Program - Morocco

Music Workshop in Morocco

Joudour Sahara Music Program, M’hamid el Ghizlane, Morocco    By Thomas Duncan At Festival Taragalte in M’hamid el Ghizlane, musicians from across the Sahara gather in celebration of Saharan cultural diversity. The festival provides an opportune time for students from Joudour Sahara to learn from performing musicians, whom they can connect to with a shared cultural heritage, … Read More

Said Morad Music teacher

Said Morad

Music Teacher Joudour Sahara Music Program Said Morad is a native of Ouarzazate, Morocco. He is a self trained musician, originally teaching himself guitar at the age of 17. He joined the Amazigh group Mallal as a guitarist and songwriter in the year 2000, and to date has recorded 10 studio albums with the group. … Read More

Meet with Seema Musica Music Institute - Nepal

Meet with Seema

Musica Music Institute, Kathmandu, Nepal Seema has joined the team of students at the Musica Music Institute just a few months ago and shares with us her excitement about being part of this music program. #SheHasAVoice SUPPORT OUR WORK

Empowering Girls Through Music & Arts Education #SheHasAVoice

Empowering Girls Through Music & Arts Education

Our commitment to establishing gender equality in all of our schools is a natural result of working to help make this world a better place through the power of music. In our programs, which have been implemented in 11 different countries, women are using music as a tool to empower themselves, reconnect with their culture, and live a better life. … Read More

PFC DAY 2017 PLAYLIST Watch videos of PFC DAY 2017 events

PFC DAY 2017 PLAYLIST

WATCH VIDEOS FROM THE GLOBAL EVENT CELEBRATED THIS YEAR ACROSS 32 COUNTRIES   Thank you so much for being with us this year again! See you in 2018… Albi PFC day 2017 Taragalte playing for change day teaser 2017 Festival Playing for Change a Cala Llonga Playing for Change Day – OBSM – Roar (Katy… … Read More

Saïba Diabaté Kora teacher

Saïba Diabaté

Saïba is a kora player who grew up in a Griot family where almost everybody plays music or sings. His grandmother, Dédé Kouyaté is a renowned female Griot singer in Mali.

Saïba is currently studying law at the University of Mali. He played kora with many great Malian musicians like Ballaké Sissoko

We Are One Benefit Concert (October 3rd, 2017)

A Benefit Concert Celebrating The 10th Anniversary Of The Playing For Change Foundation, Featuring The Doobie Brothers, Paul Barrere And Fred Tackett From Little Feat, The Playing For Change Band and more.  Tuesday, October 3, at The Mayan Theater, Los Angeles, CA The concert will take place on Tuesday, October 3, at the historic Mayan … Read More

A visit at the Musica Music Institute, Kathmandu, Nepal

The Musica Music Institute is located in Kathmandu Nepal and provides music classes to 50 children and teenagers. Meet with our students, listen to them playing and singing and see how music is making a difference in their lives. Namaste SUPPORT THIS PROGRAM

News From the Khlong Toey Music Program in Thailand

Khlong Toey Music Program – Thailand     By Geraldine Nemrod   Hi everyone! I’m Gigi, co-founder and director of the Khlong Toey Music Program. Here to give you a heads up about what is happening in Thailand. We are soon celebrating our 5 years anniversary and very happy with the journey so far. It feels … Read More

Celebrating 10 years of positive change

The Playing For Change Foundation celebrates this year its 10th anniversary: Since 2007 we have created 15 music programs across 11 countries providing free music education to children, most specifically in the developing world. We believe in music as an instrument of change and we have witnessed the positive impact of music education on children … Read More

Join Playing For Change Day 2017

PLAYING FOR CHANGE DAY was created in 2011 to unite the global community through the power of music. On Playing For Change Day, communities will gather as musicians and music lovers from all over the world to perform on stages, street corners, schools, yoga studios, and cafes all with the goal of bringing music into … Read More

Getting Ready for PFC Day in Ghana Bizung School of Music - Ghana

Getting Ready for PFC Day in Ghana

Bizung School of Music & Dance – Ghana Students and teachers at the Bizung School are getting ready for Playing For Change Day! Enjoy this performance captured and edited by our local video team in Tamale, Ghana Join PFC Day

Music Always Unites Us 10 years of work in Nepal

Music Always Unites Us

Each small act of kindness affects lives unknown. Kindness expands each time it is passed until a simple courtesy becomes active courage. This is the amazing story behind PFCF’s 10 years of encouraging a new generation of peacemakers through the power of music. MUSIC ALWAYS UNITES US highlights our recent efforts in Nepal and Thailand … Read More

PFC Diamante-Argentina

Inaugurated in 2017, this new music program is located in the city of Diamante, 350km (220 miles) north-west of Buenos Aires and  hosted at the premises of the Marconi theatre, a 100 years old building in the city, heritage of the Diamante’s Italian Society. Although the city is a seedbed for musicians, it didn’t have a space or a … Read More

Cajuru Music Program : an overview of our music school in Brazil

The Cajuru Music Program ,or “Escola Playing For Change”, is located in the community of Cajuru in Curitiba, Brazil. The school was created after an amazing benefit concert at the Opera de Arame, where over 1400 people came to see the PFC Band perform live and support PFCF’s mission of positive change through music. The … Read More

Building Success in M’Hamid, Morocco

  By Thomas Duncan In M’hamid el Ghizlane, at the very end of the Draa River Valley in the Saharan Desert of Morocco, the Joudour Sahara Music School has begun the foundation for developing youth and developing the community through music education. In this video, we introduce four smart and talented girls, who we are proud to … Read More

Playing For Change Foundation: Overview of Programs

The Playing For Change Foundation celebrates this year its 10th anniversary: Since 2007 we have created 15 music programs across 11 countries providing free music education to children, most specifically in the developing world. We believe in music as an instrument of change and we have witnessed the positive impact of music education on children … Read More

Every Life has a purpose

  By William Aura Nepali administrator Ishor Bajracharya has just received brand-new iPad Pros and associated gear through a gracious donation from longtime PFCF supporters Maurie and Vivien Stang. Our intention is to teach the students how to share their personal story with the world. These vital tools will be used in Kathmandu, Tintale village and Katari as … Read More

10 Years and Growing Strong

  By William Aura What a whirlwind of a glorious trip this has been. Departed Los Angeles mid-February and just returned from an intense and extensive journey to Thailand, Nepal and Australia. It continues to be a deep privilege to visit and encourage students and teachers in PFCF’s six music programs as well as help document … Read More

Meet the Students at the Joudour Sahara Music Program

  By Thomas Duncan Three bright students at the Joudour Sahara Music Program in Mhamid el Ghizlane, Morocco sharing what they are learning and what they hope to learn and achieve through music. A few weeks in, they’ve shown great progress and are on their way to realizing their goals! SUPPORT THIS PROGRAM

New Beginnings Through Music

  By William Aura We invite you to sit back, relax and join our circle in Tintale village as PFCF student Abhishek Khatri and others rehearse their performance for an upcoming music program presentation. Abhishek’s education is lovingly sponsored by supporter Aline King and we thank her for her dedication. The favored class is led by … Read More

Escola Playing For Change no Brasil

A ”Escola Playing For Change ” está localizado na comunidade de Cajuru em Curitiba, Brasil. A escola foi criada após um incrível concerto de benefícios na Opera de Arame, onde mais de 1400 pessoas vieram para ver o PFC Band tocar ao vivo e apoiar a missão do PFCF de mudanças positivas através da música. … Read More

A Dance class in Mali: 360° video

We just returned from an amazing trip to Mali with the PFC crew and recorded this short 360° video of a dance class at Ecole de musique de Kirina, our music school created in 2010 in the ancient griot village of Kirina, Mali. Listen to real african roots percussion and see how our students are … Read More

Taking It To The Streets

  By William Aura It’s time to get streetwise. Here’s our first day of preproduction in Kathmandu shot via iPhone, highlighting a day in the life of PFCF administrator Ishor Bajracharya. There is so much to prepare for this upcoming month. Our team departs via jeep in five days for remote Tintale Village. Among numerous initiatives, … Read More

Encouragement Is Like Oxygen To The Human Spirit

    By William Aura   It continues to be my honor and duty to bring this great spirit of Playing For Change from all of you to our vital music programs in Southeast Asia. I depart for Thailand and Nepal this week. All of us at PFCF are excited to hear the latest news from our hardworking teachers and … Read More

PLAYING FOR CHANGE PATAGONIA, Argentina

The Playing For Change Foundation has now its own branch in Argentina with a fantastic team of people committed to bring positive change through music education across the country. In November 2015, the PFC band hit the road in Argentina and performed one of its most amazing shows, in Buenos Aires, in front of 8000 … Read More

A Story From the Field: Dedicated to Change – Tintale, Nepal

    By William Aura Young Kale Bhujel pays strict attention to studying the harmonium at our Udayapur Music Program located in the remote Tintale Village of Nepal. Thanks to the loving patience of PFCF instructor Ganesh Prasad Regmi, Kale’s passion for learning is insatiable. Kale lives in a stable above the farm animals. His mother … Read More

The Imvula Music Program – South Africa

The Imvula Music Program has been established in the township of Gugulethu, Cape Town South Africa and provides music education to children in different schools across the township: marimba, dance, saxophone among other disciplines are part of  the program.  

Discover our Music School in Mali

  L’ecole de Musique de Kirina opened in 2010 in the village of Kirina in Mali. Kirina holds 700 years of cultural heritage and the school provides classes in most of the Malian traditional instruments as well as dance and languages.  

Jen-Osha Buysse Sister School Curriculum Coordinator

Jen-Osha Buysse

 Sister School Curriculum Coordinator Jen-Osha is a lifelong musician activist who has devoted much of her time to harnessing the healing and storytelling power of music to support coalfield communities and end mountaintop removal coal mining.  She is really proud of being named one of West Virginia’s Wonder Women in 2014.  Since she co-founded the … Read More

Tiffany Vergara

A Southern California native, Tiffany was lucky enough to have been raised in a culturally diverse and highly musical household. She is incredibly passionate about doing good well, volunteers often, and aims to use her extensive background in nonprofit finance, accounting, human capital, and process management to help Playing for Change Foundation move forward in … Read More

Introducing The Joudour Sahara Music Program

Joudour Sahara Music Program November 2nd, 2016 – We’re proud to announce the launch of the first phase of a new project in Morroco: the Joudour Sahara Music School. Located in the Sahara desert, in the little town of M’hamid, this new music program will focus on preserving a valuable and ancestral cultural knowledge, and … Read More

Playing For Change Argentina, Work In Progress

The Playing For Change Foundation has now its own branch in Argentina with a fantastic team of people committed to bring positive change through music education across the country. Last November, the PFC band hit the road in Argentina and performed one of its most amazing shows, in Buenos Aires, in front of 8000 people. … Read More

Starting a Garden at the Music School – Kirina, Mali Ecole de Musique de Kirina

Starting a Garden at the Music School – Kirina, Mali

Ecole de Musique de Kirina – Mali – January 2017 Thanks to the support of our donors and a collective effort in the community we were able to successfully find water in the village in 2013 and build the first well in the village equipped with a water tank and a solar pump. The village of … Read More

Meet with Yabesh Star School, Masaka - Rwanda

Meet with Yabesh

Star School Music Program – Rwanda Yabesh is a young drummer at the Star School Music & Dance Program, whose dream nothing less than to become one of the best drummers in the world. SUPPORT OUR WORK

Marimba Instruments we teach: South Africa

Marimba

The marimba is the descendant of the traditional african xylophones, such as the balafon, originated in West Africa around the 13th Century. These instruments migrated to America since the slave trade and have evolved throughout centuries towards what we know now as modern marimbas, xylophones and vibraphones. This instrument became really popular in South Africa … Read More

Kora Instruments we teach: Mali

Kora

  École De Musique de Kirina – Mali The kora is a traditional West African harp made from a large calabash. It is the king of the instruments in the Griot culture. Traditionally, it has 21 strings, and according to a legend, it was given to the Griots by the Devil in Guinea Bissau. Learning … Read More

Madal drum Instruments we teach: Nepal

Madal drum

Considered the backbone of most Nepali folk music, the Madal is a typical Nepalese percussion instrument. The drum consists of a cylindrical body, it’s center has a slight bulge and the cylinder is closed on both ends. Typically, a wooden log is carved so as to form a hollow cavity. The madal is played horizontally … Read More

More Music, More Positive Change Star School - Masaka, Rwanda

More Music, More Positive Change

Star School Music Program – Rwanda In 2013, Playing For Change Foundation partnered with Star School, a primary and secondary school in Kigali, Rwanda, to offer a music and sports program to the students. Now three years into the partnership, the music program is thriving and recently expanded to include more classes, more teachers and … Read More

Maryam Joudour Sahara Music Program, Morocco

Maryam

Joudour Sahara Music Program, M’Hamid El Ghizlane, Morocco Maryam loves to sing Roksa music, the traditional music of her tribe, the Arib. She says that at the Joudour Sahara Music School, she wishes that she can learn how to sing other types of traditional music that other tribes perform as well. Maryam thinks that M’hamid … Read More

Thomas Duncan

Project Coordinator Joudour Sahara Music Program Thomas is from Rockville, Maryland, and came to live in Morocco with the United States Peace Corps in 2013, working in the closest village to M’hamid, Tagounite. Thomas acts as Joudour Sahara’s Project Coordinator and also manages and produces the local band Daraa Tribes. Through a grant from the … Read More

Halim Sbai

President, Joudour Sahara Joudour Sahara Music School Halim is born and raised in M’hamid el Ghizlane, living in a village on the edge of the oasis where the vast expanse of the Sahara extends to Algeria and beyond. Since his early adulthood, Halim has been working, primarily with his brother Ibrahim, for the development of … Read More

Ibrahim Sbai

Joudour Sahara Music Program Ibrahim is a native of the Sahara and has spent the majority of his life promoting the message of peace and tolerance that his upbringing in M’hamid has instilled in him. His focus in doing so has been to highlight the cultural and ethnic diversity found in the Moroccan Sahara, particularly … Read More

Ashim Maharjan

Drum Teacher Musica Music Institute – Nepal Ashim has been teaching drums at the Musica Music Institute since 2012. He has performed music at more then 50 shows, including all of the Musica Institute’s events. He has a passion for helping others as he has worked as a teacher, tutor, and volunteer for the Red … Read More

Dhruba Percussion & Harmonium Teacher

Dhruba

Udayapur Music Program – Nepal Percussion and Harmonium Teacher

Music can stop the War

In 2010 we initiated a program in the village of Katari, about 16 hours via jeep from Kathmandu in eastern Nepal. Every week nearly 20 children gather and study harmonium and musical theory in a tiny former storage room with instruments provided by PFCF. The Nepali people living in the Terai face daily challenges that … Read More

Shilu Joshi Music teacher

Shilu Joshi

Music Teacher Musica Music Institute – Nepal Shilu has been teaching music at the Musica Music Institute since 2012. She has a masters degree in classical music from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal. She released a solo album in 2002 entitled, Shilu’s Halchal. She was a key member in the Give Me Shelter program that … Read More

A song by our Students in Ghana Bizung School of Music - Ghana

A song by our Students in Ghana

Bizung School of Music & Dance – Ghana Students and teachers at the Bizung School of Music and Dance in Tamale, Ghana, have come together to record a song written by Halik, one of the students at the school. The song is titled “Bohami Bagsim”, which literally means “Learn Skills” and evokes how much Halik … Read More

Meet with Somed Bizung School of Music - Ghana

Meet with Somed

Bizung School of Music & Dance – Tamale, Ghana Somed has been a student at the Bizung School of Music and Dance in Tamale, Ghana, for over 4 years. He tells us in his own words how learning music has created an amazing spirit of peace deep in his soul. SEE SOMED PERFORMING WITH THE … Read More

Bizung Students Perform The Tora Dance

Bizung School of Music & Dance – Ghana Students at the Bizung School of Music and Dance in Tamale, Ghana, perform the Tora Dance surrounded by colorful murals in the courtyard of the school. The Tora Dance is a traditional dance from Northern Ghana performed at the end of the harvest season, or for weddings, … Read More

Interview with Toumani Diabaté Bamako, Mali

Interview with Toumani Diabaté

Ecole de Musique de Kirina- Mali Toumani is one of the greatest exponent of African music around the globe, an absolute genius of his instrument: the kora. In this interview, Toumani shares an inspiring vision of Africa, music and life. And he also reminds us how important it is to know our past to build … Read More

Ibrahim Samuel Bass guitar teacher

Ibrahim Samuel

Bass guitar teacher Bizung School of Music & Dance – Ghana Ibrahim Samuel, or Mr. Sammy, as the students know him, was born on the 9th of December in 1988, the fourth out of six siblings, all boys. A Dagomba man hailing from Tamale, his family is quite musical: all his brothers are singers. A … Read More

Bagoré Sissoko Sound Engineer and Editor

Bagoré Sissoko

Sound Engineer and Editor École De Musique de Kirina – Mali Bagoré aka Mande Follo is an artist, musician and sound engineer from Bamako, Mali. He studied several disciplines such as IT (Information Technologies), Electronics and Media Management in Bamako. Bagoré is now working at École de Musique de Kirina producing videos and recordings with … Read More

Ghale Instruments we teach: Ghana

Ghale

Gahle refers to traditional maracas. The gourd accompanying the gonje is called gahle, although popularly the instrument is referred to as “Zabia”, the name of those who play the gahle. This instrument, with little black seeds hidden inside, is deceptively simple: the playing of the gahle requires amazing amounts of flexibility in the wrists as … Read More

Luan (or “Lunga”) Instruments we teach: Ghana

Luan (or “Lunga”)

The Dagomba Luan (also called “Lunga”) is an hourglass shaped tension talking drum, variations of which are known more widely across the subcontinent as tama. The Dagomba  luan is usually bigger than the different talking drums encountered in countries such as Senegal, Mali and Nigeria. Fastened on the shoulder with a scarf, the luan is … Read More

Gonje Instruments we teach: Ghana

Gonje

The gonje is a mysterious instrument—strange and uncanny even to those among whom its playing is commonplace. The sounds, the technique, and the crafting of the gonje all make for an intensely singular aural experience. Decorated with scarves and a specially designed brass ball for ornamentation, it is nearly inexplicable for an outside observer to … Read More

Are You Ready? Less Than 1 Month Until PFC Day!

We can’t believe our 6th annual Playing For Change Day is just one month away! There are lots of ways to get involved, so don’t fret if you don’t have plans yet.Haven’t registered an event yet? It’s never too late to put some plans together with friends, family, and members of your community to celebrate September … Read More

Manesh Nakarmi Music teacher

Manesh Nakarmi

Music Teacher Musica Music Institute – Nepal   Manesh is one of the founders of the Musica Music Institute in 2004. He is proficient in keyboard, guitar, drums and vocals. Manesh is also the founders of one of Nepal’s first rock bands “Cob Web” in 1990. He has made a career out of his passion … Read More

Dinesh Nakarmi Music teacher

Dinesh Nakarmi

Music Teacher Musica Music Institute – Nepal Dinesh has been a music teacher at the Musica Music Institute since 2005. Dinesh has performed in more then 200 concerts around Nepal as a guitarist for about 5 different bands. Besides the guitar, Dinesh is also proficient in the keyboard and drums. He has also been involved … Read More

Emmanuel Ndayizeye Dance & percussion teacher

Emmanuel Ndayizeye

Traditional Dance and Drumming Teacher Star School Music Program – Rwanda Emmanuel is a wonderful teacher and a skilled artist. Born in Kigali, he directs the Intayoberana dance troupe, a recognized group of traditional dancers in Rwanda. Emmanuel joined our team at Star School in February 2016 where he teaches traditional dance and drums. He … Read More

The Moment We Live For Mitrata Music Program - Nepal

The Moment We Live For

1 2 Dinesh is twelve years old and a student at the Mitrata Nepal Music Program in Kathmandu, Nepal. Each Saturday morning, the students all gather to practice drumming and dancing. Dinesh told us he feels proud because “I get some important knowledge by learning music in the classes.” He is currently working on his … Read More

“Oye (Are You Listening?)” | UNICEF & PFC Foundation

In July of 2016, UNICEF and Playing For Change Foundation entered a three-year regional partnership to improve conditions for children, families and communities through music, thus contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The partnership marks the first official alliance bridging the world’s leading agency … Read More

Jean Diarrah French teacher

Jean Diarrah

French Teacher École De Musique de Kirina – Mali French teacher and assistant for the school’s recently launched educational support program.

Karounga Diabaté Balafon teacher

Karounga Diabaté

Balafon Teacher École De Musique de Kirina – Mali Karounga is the son of Keletigui Diabaté, one of the greatest balafon (traditional African xylophone) players in the country We are pleased to have him as Kirina’s balafon teacher. Karounga is also an instrument crafter; he made the 10 balafons used by the students in Kirina.

Ladji Diabaté Kora teacher

Ladji Diabaté

Ladji Diabaté is a renowned kora player and teacher in Mali. He is the brother of Toumani Diabaté, who is considered by many to be the greatest kora player in the world, and Mahamadou Diabaté, the director of the Kirina music school.

Benedict Ali Kolaan

Xylophone Teacher Bizung School of Music & Dance – Ghana Benedict Ali Kolaan is a music teacher and ethnomusicologist specializing in African music. He teaches rudiments and theory of music – one of Bizung’s more formal course offerings – as well as traditional folk songs from around Ghana. B.A. Kolaan received an award for his … Read More

Suali Seidu Dance & percussion teacher

Suali Seidu

Percussion & Dance Teacher Bizung School of Music & Dance – Ghana Suali teaches percussion and dance at the Bizung School. His natural authority and experience with music students allow him to teach different instruments, such as palogo, djembé and talking drum. Suali has been a music instructor for almost fifteen years and currently combines his … Read More

Paul Matiso Marimba teacher

Paul Matiso

Music Teacher Imvula Music Program – South Africa Paul is our marimba teacher at the Imvula Music Program

Emmanuel Ntwari Sports educator

Emmanuel Ntwari

Sports Educator Star School Music Program – Rwanda Emmanuel is a sports educator specialized in volley ball and soccer.

Virginia Martins Program Administrator

Virginia Martins

Program Administrator Cajuru Music Program – Brazil Virginia has been with PFC since the beginning of the Cajuru Music Program. She holds a degree in Education and has worked with children and teenagers her entire career. She is now working as the head administrator for the Cajuru Music program. Virginia strongly believes in the power of music … Read More

Rameshowr Maharjan Percussion teacher

Rameshowr Maharjan

Percussion Teacher Mitrata Music Program – Nepal Master percussionist Rameshowr comes from a deep-rooted musical family. Well loved by his students, his personal teaching style is infectiously fun. Rameshowr is also a very popular tour guide in the area and speaks Spanish as well as English.

Karim Diabaté Percussion teacher

Karim Diabaté

Percussion Leader École De Musique de Kirina – Mali Karim Diabaté is a Master “Djembéfola” and leader of Kirina’s percussion band that lays down the groove for all of our dance classes at the school. He is a multi instrumentalist, playing both the drum set (dun dun) and the Djembe. Karim was born on January … Read More

Seydou Koné Percussion teacher

Seydou Koné

Percussion Teacher École De Musique de Kirina – Mali Seydou Koné is a master djembé player who lives in a village located 14 km from Kirina. He assists Mahamadou Diabaté with the percussion classes and leads the percussion band that plays for each dance class at the school. Twice a week, Seydou takes a 14 … Read More

Duke Norman Music teacher

Duke Norman

Music theory and saxophone teacher Imvula Music Program – South Africa Duke is a musician and a graphic artist from Guguletu who like our other teacher John teaches saxophone and music theory at the music program.

Robert Niyikiza Piano & music theory teacher

Robert Niyikiza

Music teacher Star School Music Program – Rwanda Robert was born in Kigali to a musical family and started to play music at a very early age. He began studying music at the church and joined several local bands as a keyboard player and vocalist. Even at his young age, Robert had the chance to … Read More

Gon Guan

The hefty cylindrical bass gung-gong carved from cedar, called brekete in Southern Ghana, has a slender hide snare (chahira) strung right across the top portion of both broad leather faces.

Meet with Boubacar École De Musique de Kirina - Mali

Meet with Boubacar

PFCF music student, Guem, lives in Mali’s capital city of Bamako and travels 30 kilometers by bus to attend classes at École de Musique de Kirina.

Aicha – Meet The Students Bizung School of Music - Ghana

Aicha – Meet The Students

Aïcha has been a student at the Bizung School of Music and Dance since she was fourteen years old. In the last four years she has learned many skills that have enriched her life

Ezechiel Tuyisime Program administrator

Ezechiel Tuyisime

Administrator Star School Music Program – Rwanda Ezequiel works as a Maths teacher at Star School. He administrates and assists the music and sports program.

Meet with Halik Bizung School of Music - Ghana

Meet with Halik

Bizung School of Music & Dance – Tamale, Ghana  Halik is from Tamale, Ghana, and has been attending the Bizung School of Music and Dance since 2010. He is very talented and studies Gon guan and gonje. Halik had the opportunity to travel with other Bizung students to the Volta Region and to Accra, the capital and … Read More

Prince Mahama

Guitar Teacher Bizung School of Music & Dance Prince Mahama is something of a living legend in Northern Ghana. During the 1980s he was a formative member of the Adom Professionals, an all-blind band that traveled extensively around Ghana. He has the honor of being the first musician in the Northern Region to sing originally … Read More

Lama Maya

Keyboard teacher Musica Music Institute, Nepal Lama Maya began as a young music student with the Hari Kul music program and now she has evolved to become a keyboard teacher herself with the Musica Music Institute. Congratulations Lama Maya for working so hard to make your dream come true.

Meet with Ishowri Mitrata Music Program - Nepal

Meet with Ishowri

Mitrata Music Program – Kathmandu, Nepal Ishowri has been living at the Mitrata Orphanage for over 8 years . She has dreams of becoming a social worker one day like Mitrata founder, Nanda Kulu. She has a deep passion for change and believes dancing can make you healthy and flexible. Although she was a bit … Read More

Sucess is Not an Accident

“It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing.” ~Pele Noi Noi and myself want to thank everyone involved for making our recent mission in Nepal so deeply rewarding. Fearless team leader Ishor Bajracharya and our stellar crew worked very hard under difficult circumstances at times … Read More

Renan Zanatta

English Teacher – Music teacher Cajuru music Program, Curitiba, Brazil   (Bio coming soon…)  

Raman Maharjan Flute teacher

Raman Maharjan

Flute teacher Mitrata Music Program – Nepal Raman Maharjan is a bansuri flute from Kritipur, Kathmandu, Nepal and our flute teacher at the Mitrata Music Program.

Ganesh Prasad Regmi Music teacher

Ganesh Prasad Regmi

Music teacher Udayapur Music Program – Nepal Ganesh is just one of the most beautiful souls in this world and is also our music teacher in Tintale village for the Udayapur Music Program

Kiran Nepali Sarangi teacher

Kiran Nepali

Sarangi Teacher Mitrata Music Program – Nepal Kiran plays sarangi for the renowned group Kutumba and teaches disadvantaged kids at the Mitrata Nepal Music Program. He is a third generation Sarangi player in his family, and explains that he is greatly influenced by his grandfather, father and uncles, who were all Sarangi players of their … Read More

Ahmed Abdul-Samed Gonje teacher

Ahmed Abdul-Samed

Gonje Teacher Bizung School of Music & Dance – Ghana Abdul-Samed is a gonje musician, first learning this traditional horse-hair violin as a child from his grandfathers. He is a master in his field and regularly performs at traditional ceremonies and music festivals around Ghana. Abdul-Samed brings experience and wisdom to his teaching, and many … Read More

A Dream Of Lasting Peace

David Naporo Pick, a devoted Playing For Change fan, supporter, musician, and organizer, has used Playing For Change Day as a way to unite disparate groups and bring his highest hopes and ideals to fruition. His PFC Day journey has already taken him to fantastic and unexpected places, and he has even more in store … Read More

Nanda Kulu Founder, Mitrata Nepal

Nanda Kulu

Founder, Mitrata Nepal Mitrata Music Program – Nepal Nanda Kulu has been helping underprivileged children and orphans for over 15 years. Her foundation, Mitrata Nepal, is based in Kathmandu and supports many abandoned and less privileged children; all of them in need of a home, care and support. Nanda’s organization is dedicated to giving help … Read More

Ishor Bajracharya Program administrator

Ishor Bajracharya

Coordinator: Nepalese programs Mitrata Music Program –  Musica Music Institute Ishor Bajracharya has been involved with the Playing for Change family since Mark Johnson and the crew shot the first film in Nepal in the fall of 2006. A renowned jewelry designer and the proprietor of Bajracharya Handicrafts, Ishor and his family operate a jewelry … Read More

Xylophone

The xylophones at Bizung are not indigenous to the tribes of the Northern Region.  We brought them here from Lawra in the Upper West region of Ghana, close to the borders of Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire.  The big frames and the dangling gourds make for an imposing instrument, with a bright, sprightly sound unusual … Read More

Kpanlogo

Kpanlogo is a type of drum that is associated with kpanlogo music. The drum originates from the Ga people of the Greater Accra Region in Ghana. The drum has a tapered body carved from a single piece of wood that is similar in shape to a conga. The drumhead is typically made from goat, antelope, … Read More

Harmonium

Dhruba Kumar Ghimire teaches the harmonium at the Udayapur Music Program in Katari, Nepal. He also holds classes in voice, and employs his vocal skills as a teaching tool for his harmonium students. They are learning basic fingerings and how to match the notes that he sings. Only one hand is needed to play individual keys … Read More

Sarangi

The Sarangi is a folk Nepalese string instrument. Unlike Classical Indian Sarangi, it has four strings and all of them are played. Although originally used for voice accompaniments

N’goni

The ngoni or “n’goni” is a string instrument originating in West Africa. Its body is made of wood or calabash

Shyam Basnet Program administrator

Shyam Basnet

Administrator, Nepali Music Programs: Udayapur Music Program Tintale Village Mother’s society   Shyam is the acting PFCF administrator for the Tintale Village Mother’s Society. He has been facilitating their activities since their inception in 2009. Shyam helps coordinate productions, rehearsals, travel arrangements as well as providing additional security.

Meet with Alou Ecole de Musique de Kirina - Mali

Meet with Alou

Ecole de Musique de Kirina- Mali Discover our music school in Mali through Alou’s experience. The young Alou, from Mali, introduces you to the music school in the village of Kirina.

Tuhin Asad Music teacher - Administrator

Tuhin Asad

Music teacher – Program administrator Mirpur Music Program – Bangladesh Tuhin is a singer and guitar player from Mirpur Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is performing in the stage as a singer and studied Masters in Governance and Development studies at the Jahangirnagor University, Savar, Dhaka. He has been our program administrator and main music teacher at … Read More

Rehearsals at the Imvula Music Program – South Africa

The Imvula Music Program has been established in the township of Gugulethu, Cape Town South Africa and provides music education to children in different schools across the township: marimba, dance, saxophone among other disciplines are part of  the program. Enjoy this rehearsal of our students playing Marimba!  

Cherry Yufei Chen Programs Coordinator

Cherry Yufei Chen

Programs Coordinator  (left on december 2017) Cherry started to serve Playing For Change Foundation as an intern in Fall 2016. She has a B.A. degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs and she has great passion for the non-profit and education sectors. Inspired by her experience working with kids from underserved communities, she holds her life … Read More

Khadejhia Kassenbrock Operations Coordinator

Khadejhia Kassenbrock

Originally from Oakland, California, Khadejhia grew up with a love for music, but her passion for playing it began after getting her first guitar at the age of 8. After working in the non-profit sector for over three years, she decided to attend Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, CA, where she recently graduated cum laude with … Read More

From Shipping Container To Music Studio

We’re embarking on an exciting new endeavor that could take the Imvula Music Program in South Africa to a whole new level. We’ve partnered with a social action and music project in the neighboring township of Philippi, called the Philippi Music Project. The Philippi Music Project (PMP) is a social enterprise offering an infrastructure to … Read More

The PFCF Family In Nepal Needs Your Help

100% of your gift will provide direct support for PFCF students and teachers in Nepal. Any amount will help. May 28th, 2015 – There have been many long and fear-filled days and nights since the earthquake and aftershocks devastated Nepal in early April. We have been in constant communication with our music teachers and friends … Read More

Our team returns

Pictured left to right: Rungnapa Pantakai, William Aura, Ishor Bajracharya and Mana Shrestha Tintale Village Mother´s Society – Tintale Village, Nepal We have safely arrived in Kathmandu from the remote Eastern Terai region known as Udayapur. The area is long overdue for monsoon for quite some time, and the sweltering heat wave is unprecedented. There’s … Read More

A Musical Journey On The Silk Route

Udayapur Music Program – Nepal Sylvain and Mathieu are two modern-day French explorers and filmmakers who set out to follow the ancient silk route from India all the way back to France, riding the whole way on vintage motorcycles with recording gear in tow. The two friends started an association called India on a Bullet, … Read More

Triple Threat At Three Clubs

On the evening of Thursday, March 24th, three young women came together at the Three Clubs bar in Hollywood, California, for an intimate concert performance to share their music and to raise awareness about the work and message of the Playing For Change Foundation. Sixx Carter, Nina Kasuya, and Jazmin Chaidez, known collectively as The … Read More

Choir In Japan Gathers To Uplift Others Through Music

Last month, in celebration of Valentine’s Day, an all-women gospel choir in Osaka, Japan, put on a concert at Miel parque Hall to spread the message of love and peace, and to introduce people in Japan to the PFC movement. The Anointed Mass Choir raised $2,000 at their concert and donated it to support the … Read More

It All Happened Through Music

We were first introduced to Surendra Shrestha and his band, Sur Sudha, nearly ten years ago while filming the documentary, Playing For Change: Peace Through Music. In the years since he has become an advocate for the PFC Foundation, performing at PFCF benefit concerts and visiting programs to perform with students and inspire them to … Read More

Brazil School Gains Ground

On February 6th, Gustavo Fruet, Mayor of Curitiba [the capital of Paraná, Brazil], and Ubiraci Rodrigues, President of the Popular Housing Company of Curitiba (or COHAB), signed a free lease term for transfer of land to the Residents Association of Cajuru. The international organization Playing For Change Foundation will build a music school there that … Read More

Gimme Shelter Project – Nepal Taking action after the earthquake

Gimme Shelter Project – Nepal

  By William Aura   Nepal is no stranger to challenges. Yet this current situation is unprecedented. 28 million people are now facing a severe nationwide humanitarian crisis. The rainy season has come and gone and as winter sets in, government inaction and the Indian block-aid means two million people are still homeless or living in … Read More

My Dream Come True – Kathmandu, Nepal Musica Music Institute - Nepal

My Dream Come True – Kathmandu, Nepal

Musica Music Institute – Kathmandu, Nepal Meet Utsav Nepal. He has been blind since birth. We met at the Early Rehabilitation Center in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he expressed his deep desire to someday play music in a band. He said he learned guitar and sings songs but never had the opportunity to perform with others. “This … Read More

Lessons on Life and Rhythm in Anguilla

Feb. 17th, 2016 Albena Lake Hodge Secondary School Anguilla, BWI Last month, 25 students at the Albena Lake Hodge Secondary School in Anguilla spent the morning with Paolo Heman, PFC musician and renowned percussionist who hails from Bahia, Brazil. Paolo introduced the students to traditional Brazilian rhythms and together this new ensemble of percussionists demonstrated … Read More

Ecole de Musique de Kirina, Mali

L’Ecole de musique de Kirina offers a dynamic music and dance program to 200 students. The creation of the program began in 2009 when Mahamadou Diabaté, brother of Grammy Award-winning Kora player, Toumani Diabaté, and a wonderful musician in his own right, approached us about building a music school in his native country of Mali. The … Read More

A groove from Mali

Ecole de Musique de Kirina- Mali To welcome their new friends to the PFCF family, students and staff at École de Musique de Kirina in Mali recorded a groove and dedicated it to the Cajuru Music School in Curitiba.

Pete Kronowitt Business Development Consultant

Pete Kronowitt

Business Development Consultant Pete always had one of those cheap transistor radios attached to his ear as a small child. Then, he started playing guitar in the stairwells and dorms of American University in Washington, D.C. After 10 years of making up songs, he stepped into John Alagia’s basement studio (Dave Matthews Band, Jon Mayer, … Read More

To Bring The Change Mother's Society - Tintale, Nepal

To Bring The Change

Tintale Village Mother´s Society – Nepal Nepal is struggling to contain human trafficking. Trafficking laws routinely go unenforced, Nepali women and children are being coerced into the sex and construction industries. Demand for cheap labour in the destination countries is a major driving force, it’s also believed that lack of employment in Nepal and political … Read More

Kentyah Fraser Consultant

Kentyah Fraser

Consultant Kentyah is a DJ, producer, percussionist, aspiring writer and burgeoning pop culture educator. As one time assistant, and de facto mentee of Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky, he learned the ropes of the indie music industry (both good and bad) from one of its most astute and consistent. Having managed Spooky’s Synchronic Records for … Read More

Dr. Craig Woodson World Music Education Consultant

Dr. Craig Woodson

World Music Education Consultant Dr. Craig Woodson is an educator, author, musician, consultant, and musical instrument maker, holds a doctorate in music from U.C.L.A. His career as a musician includes playing drums with Elvis Presley and Linda Ronstadt. In 1974 he founded Ethnomusic, Inc. as an outgrowth of his specialization in instrument making,African drumming, and … Read More

Felipe Dayananda

 Music Teacher Cajuru Music Program – Brazil   (Bio Coming soon…)  

Mark Chaikree

Khlong Toey Music Program – Thailand Mark Chaikree Mungkhreuanglang started playing guitar by himself at the age of 15. His father and mother used to listen to music since he was a child. At the age of 17, he got the opportunity to join a music club at Ramkhamhaeng university. Seeing his seniors playing music inspired him … Read More

Meet With Mok Khlong Toey Music Program,Thailand

Meet With Mok

Khlong Toey Music Program 10-year-old Mok had difficulty concentrating when he first arrived at the school, but learning music in a supportive environment has transformed him into a sweet boy and dedicated musician. In addition to singing, he plays bass (despite it being almost too big for him!) and has more recently begun learning guitar. He never misses … Read More

One Act of Compassion

The Joy Business is alive and well! PFCF students and teachers at Khlong Toey Music Program in Bangkok, Thailand, wanted help their friends in Nepal after the earthquake. They organized an event, and long-time PFC musician and band member, Clarence Bekker, joined the group for a week of workshops, rehearsals and performance. In addition to … Read More

Chartmongkol “Heart” Sinwon Music teacher

Chartmongkol “Heart” Sinwon

Music & Vocal Teacher Khlong Toey Music Program – Thailand Heart started playing music at the age of 9. He started with drums but at that time he didn’t feel that much interest for music. At the age of 14, he saw a picture of the Thai king playing saxophone so he decided to switch … Read More

Adam “Dallah” Abduli

Music Teacher Bizung School of Music & Dance Adam Abduli, or “Dallah” as he’s known by his friends, is the nephew of the Bizung School’s founder, Mohammed Alidu. Born December 15, 1982, Dallah is a member of the Bizung family, an ancient lineage of talking drum chiefs of Northern Ghana. Taught by his uncles to play and … Read More

Together We Stand By Them

We held relief events for the kids that included both art and music, and are now providing much-needed stipends to Musica Music Institute program teachers. New sewing machines and a workspace are providing members of our Mother’s Society the opportunity to earn vital income. Thank you for investing in the music and the relief efforts … Read More

Music Unites Schools in Mali and Brazil

November 28th, 2015 – Our beautiful family is growing and we are so grateful! This year, Playing For Change Foundation welcomed new programs and communities in Bangladesh and Brazil, and nearly doubled the number of students we serve. To welcome their new friends to the PFCF family, students and staff at École de Musique de … Read More

MUSIC FOR PEACE: PFC Day In San Diego

November 17th – Mark Danisovszky, an accomplished concert pianist and composer, and William Aura, a veteran musician and music producer and director of PFCF Asian Music Programs, have known each other for more than three decades. The two met on the San Diego music scene and have kept in touch throughout the years, and when Aura began … Read More

CALIFORNIA LOVE: An Orchestral Tribute to Dr. Dre

The Playing For Change Foundation, in partnership Mochilla, presents CALIFORNIA LOVE, a live orchestral tribute to legendary producer, MC and hip-hop mogul, Dr Dre. This one-night-only musical event at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles will raise support and awareness for music education and Playing For Change Foundation’s music schools and programs around the … Read More

Balafon Instruments we teach: Mali

Balafon

The balafon is a tuned West African percussion instrument. It is the ancestor of the marimba, xylophone and vibraphone, and has been known of in the Malian Empire since the 12th century. There are different types of balafons but the balafon taught in Kirina is the Malinké balafon, whose notes are displayed from left to … Read More

PFC Day 2015 Video Highlights

With nearly 60 submissions (and counting) there are more Playing For Change Day videos this year than ever before and It’s so fun to see what people all around the world did to celebrate! Watch some of the awesome highlights below, then check out the full playlist here. Our school in Mali, École de Musique … Read More

Charles Aseydu

Drum Teacher Bizung School of Music & Dance A very talented drummer and teacher, Charles was born in Tamale on June 8th, 1992 to his parents Mary Addo and Kweku Adjabeng. He is an Akan by tribe and the only child of both parents. He completed Junior High School in 2009 and was admitted into … Read More

Music is My Best Friend Musica Music Institute - Kathmandu, Nepal

Music is My Best Friend

Musica Music Institute – Kathmandu, Nepal It’s our pleasure to introduce you to the teachers and students of PFCF’s newly inaugurated Musica Music Institute in Lalitpur, Nepal. Co-founding brothers and music teachers Dinesh and Mahesh are doing a fabulous job with these talented kids. We are very excited to include them in the PFC family and … Read More

John Ntshibilikwana Saxophone Teacher

John Ntshibilikwana

Saxophone Teacher Imvula Music Program – South Africa John is from Gugulethu and has been a respected musician in the area over the past 40 years. He has played in bands such as the Marymax Orchestra and Jazzotheque. John teaches saxophone (tenor, alto and soprano), trumpet, and musical theory with patience, creativity and wisdom. His … Read More

Making it Happen Thailand and Nepal programs communicate via Skype

Making it Happen

Two of our Asian Music programs have made a first-ever historic music exchange connection via Skype. The Khlong Toey Music program in Thailand and the Musica Music Institute in Nepal have come together to share their love of music and our PFCF Music programs via a large-screen, real-time internet connection. Introductions with excited and sometimes … Read More

François Viguié Regional Director of African programs

François Viguié

Regional Director of African programs François has been an active member of Playing For Change since 2005. He first met Mark Johnson in Barcelona while he was working on PFC’s version of Stand By Me, and introduced him to musicians like Clarence Bekker, Tal Ben Ari (Tula) and Pierre Minetti. He has since traveled the … Read More

Mountaga Sissoko Tama & N'goni teacher

Mountaga Sissoko

Tama & N’goni Teacher École De Musique de Kirina Mountaga Sissoko is a Malian musician born in Bamako in 1966. He is the son of Bazoumana Sissoko, a famous Malian n’goni player (traditional griot string instrument). Mountaga is a master talking drum and n’goni player and is also an incredible instrument hand-crafter. Mountaga has taught … Read More

Roberta Paula e Silva Fundraising and outreach manager

Roberta Paula e Silva

Fundraising and outreach manager Cajuru Music Program – Brazil Roberta started on the PFC Brazil team in 2014 as a volunteer and now that the Cajuru Music Program has officially launched, she’s been able to expand her involvement with the Playing For Change Foundation even more. She recently joined the team full-time as the fundraising … Read More

Anele Dance teacher

Anele

Dance teacher Imvula Music Program – South Africa Anele is a talented professional dancer who masters different types of dances and has been teaching at our program since 2015.

Thea Karki Director of Programs and Operations

Thea Karki

Staff Director of Programs and Operations Thea Karki is a proud member of the Playing For Change Foundation, a long-time fan of PFC since its inception, becoming a full-time member of the team in early 2009. After attending college in her home state of Oklahoma majoring in Visual Arts, she worked for nearly ten years … Read More

The 5th Annual PFC Day Is Here!

After months of dreaming-up and organizing more than 300 events, the big day has arrived and we are so excited to celebrate with you. Concerts, performances, and gatherings of all kinds are taking place and you can be a part of it all, whether you’re out at an event or tuning in from home. After … Read More

Cesar Augusto Crepaldi Music teacher

Cesar Augusto Crepaldi

Music Teacher & Educational Supervisor Cajaru Music Program – Brazil Cesar has been a professional musician since 1990. He plays a variety of instruments including guitar, piano, bass, cavaquinho, percussions, and also sings. Cesar has been involved in music education projects since 2003, and is also a very skilled instrument maker. With a degree in … Read More

Mark Johnson Co-founder, Ex-Officio

Mark Johnson

  Mark Johnson is a Grammy-winning producer/engineer and award-winning film director whose visionary concept a decade ago became the driving force behind Playing for Change. His work was spotlighted in a profile on the PBS series Bill Moyers Journal. For the past decade, he has worked with some of the most renowned producers in the … Read More

William Aura Regional Director of Asian programs

William Aura

Regional Director of Asian programs William Aura’s conscious dedication to global concerns has brought him over a dozen times to the Tibetan world. Witnessing the poverty of these simple but loving people, he made a promise to be a voice for the disadvantaged. His extraordinary video footage is featured in Rick Ray’s award winning film … Read More

Whitney Kroenke President and Co-Founder

Whitney Kroenke

   President and Co-Founder Whitney Kroenke has been a part of the Playing For Change family since meeting Mark Johnson for coffee in August of 2001 to discuss “a really interesting idea” that he wanted to explore. At that meeting Playing For Change was born! She has participated in the Playing For Change Movement in … Read More

Alex Buer Trumpet teacher

Alex Buer

Music Teacher, Trumpet Bizung School of Music & Dance – Ghana Alex is a talented musician and teacher who plays the trumpet and also leads the army brass band in Tamale, Ghana. He grew up in a fishing village in the greater Accra region, the sixth of eight children in his family. After completing senior … Read More

Siriporn “Amm” Pomwong Khlong Toey Program co-founder

Siriporn “Amm” Pomwong

Program Co-Founder Khlong Toey Music Program – Thailand After realizing that she loved music at an early age, Amm began learning guitar at the age of 14. While studying Nursing at Mahidol University beginning in 2003, she joined several different bands, promoted social change and spread awareness on environmental issues and social problems. She also … Read More

Afeku “Frank” Komla Piano & music theory teacher

Afeku “Frank” Komla

Keyboard and Theory Teacher Bizung School of Music & Dance – Ghana Frank is an Ewe man who has lived in Tamale for three years. In his youth, Frank started playing drums in the churches of the Ho area, and his fellow church members, seeing a musical passion in him, encouraged him to take up … Read More

Rakib Chowdhury Music teacher

Rakib Chowdhury

Keyboard Teacher Mirpur Music Program – Bangladesh Rakib is a keyboard player who assists our main teacher Tuhin Asad and provides elementary music education to the children of the the Mirpur area of Dakah, capital of Bangladesh.

Oumou Mariko Dance teacher

Oumou Mariko

Dance Teacher École De Musique de Kirina – Mali Oumou is a singer and a dancer living in Bamako, and has recently been performing and teaching African dance throughout Europe. Her natural joy and energy immediately convinced us that she had to be the chant and dance teacher for the children of Kirina.

Benefit Concert In Thailand To Support Nepal

Khlong Toey Music Program – Thailand Numerous musicians, artists and peace lovers from all over the world converged in Bangkok Saturday, June 6th. Nine PFCF Nepali student/musicians including the now famous Nayan Band and administrator Ishor Bajracharya flew in from Kathmandu for their first time in Thailand. Most of these folks have never been outside … Read More

Mohammed Alidu Program Director

Mohammed Alidu

Co-Founder, Artistic Director & Percussion Teacher Bizung School of Music & Dance – Ghana Mohammed Alidu was born and raised in Tamale, into the Bizung lineage of talking drum chiefs of Northern Ghana – a lineage that dates back over 1000 years. He learned to play talking drum from his father who was a renowned … Read More

Seydou Dembelé Program administrator

Seydou Dembelé

Seydou is an English teacher and school administrator in Bamako, Mali. He began working with PFCF as a translator and project coordinator during the school’s construction. He is now the head administrator of the school in Kirina, where he also teaches French and English classes.

Mahamadou Diabaté Program director

Mahamadou Diabaté

Mahamadou Diabaté is a Malian musician and descendant of a griot family that has played music since the 13th century. His father was the great kora player, Sidiki Diabaté, and his brother, Toumani Diabaté, is widely acclaimed to be one of the best kora players in the world. Mahamadou grew up in a musical environment and studied Music during his five years at the INA (National Institute of Arts) in Bamako.

LisaBeth Weber Secretary

LisaBeth Weber

Board of Directors Secretary LisaBeth Weber brings her passion for making a difference in the world to the Board of the Playing for Change Foundation. As an established writer, musician/songwriter, artist, PR consultant, speaker, connector, and all around renaissance gal, her career spans over 25 years in the arts, business, non-profit, and entertainment sectors, culminating … Read More

PFC Celebrates The Grateful Dead’s 50th Anniversary

On July 5th, in honor of The Grateful Dead’s 50th Anniversary and final show, Playing For Change is releasing a brand new Song Around The World covering The Grateful Dead’s 1970 classic, “Ripple.” Featuring an eclectic cadre of legendary artists, and new and veteran Playing For Change musicians, “Ripple” will be released as the final … Read More

PFCF Represents at Byron Bay Bluesfest

With one of the biggest lineups in recent years showcasing a diverse range of international superstars and bluesfest veterans – there was indeed a unifying spirit in the air. The Byron Bay Bluesfest is Australia’s premiere Blues & Roots Music Festival with more than 200 performances of the best blues, roots, folk, soul and world … Read More

Music In Our Schools? YES!

“Music education matters”. We heard this message loud and clear in the outpouring of support and enthusiatic participation from the Playing For Change community last month. While celebrating Music In Our Schools Month in March, many PFCF students, teachers, parents, community members, and supporters experienced the joy of learning and sharing music, and took action … Read More

A Teacher’s Life is Changed – Mali

Percussion teacher, Seidou Kone, receives us at his home in a village near Kirina, Mali, and explains how working as a teacher at École de Musique de Kirina in Mali, West Africa, has changed his life and how the music school started by Playing For Change Foundation has made a positive impact in the community.

Introducing the Mirpur Music Program ( Bangladesh)

Since January 2015, the Playing For Change Foundation has been working in the slums of Mirpur District of Dhaka, Bangladesh, to provide music education to underprivileged children. In this district, 32% of residents live below the national poverty line of $2 per day and child malnutrition rates are 48%. Illiteracy rates are among the highest … Read More

Update From Tamale

For the past two weeks, the students at the Bizung School of Music and Dance and I have been working on a new song. The name of the song is “Zanma Bahi Kan Chan Torani” and it is a traditional song that is accompanied by the Tora Dance. We have been workshopping the piece to … Read More

Students Organize SoundRise Concert To Benefit PFCF

The Crooks performing at SoundRise The SoundRise concert is a project organised by French engineering students who want to have a positive impact on the world. Thus, on the 7th of June, more than two hundred students of the campus in Metz and from the East of France came together to enjoy bands from the … Read More

A New Van for Bizung

  By Benjamin Cohen After about 10 months in Ghana, and a couple more months of fundraising after I returned to San Francisco, I have completed the last unresolved portion of my Fulbright-MTVu Fellowship proposal. Before I left for Ghana, I had hopes of learning about the musical history of Ghana and the current cultural … Read More

Pitawat “Aum” Supamit Guitar Teacher

Pitawat “Aum” Supamit

Guitar Teacher Khlong Toey Music Program – Thailand Aum started to learn music when he was 12 years old. He graduated from Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University in Bangkok with a major in Music, with a focus on Jazz Guitar. He says that “Music is a religion, it’s like a place where the mind can find peace.” … Read More

Marilia Zamilian Dance teacher

Marilia Zamilian

 Dance Teacher Cajuru Music Program – Brazil   Marilia gratuated in Dance at the Faculty of Arts of Paraná and has specialized in Contemporary Studies in Dance at the UFBA. She is also is a member of the UM – Artistic Research Center in Dance of UNESPAR and the Collective Na Janela.  

Pimsupa Phakdee (Bo)

Khlong Toey Music Program – Thailand Bo is a teacher. She teaches English and Thai as a foreign language (Gigi is her student!). She knows that children who have little opportunities in life really need the support of kind-hearted adults. She’s been working in the education field for more than 10 years and believes that … Read More

Curitiba, Brasil: Centenas De Músicos, Milhares De Pessoas, Um Sonho

A vida pode mudar em um instante. Para a comunidade de Curitiba, Brasil, esse processo começou quando um amigo do jovem empresário Alan Eccel mostrou a ele um video do Playing For Change. “Ele me tocou imediatamente, na hora senti que precisava ajudar de alguma forma”, diz Alan Eccel. Centenas de músicos e milhares de … Read More

10 Days In Tintale Village

My name is Emily Randall, and this Fall I visited the Foundation’s music and art programs throughout Nepal. I’m writing to you today because sometimes when we give, we don’t know how much it will matter. I wanted to take a moment to share with you the incredible impact of your generosity, which I’ve now … Read More

Classrooms Separated By 8,000 Miles Connect Through Music And Art

In the fall of 2013, students from the Multicultural Music Program at Morgantown Learning Academy (MLA) in West Virginia, led by their teacher Jen-Osha Buysse, reached halfway around the world to our students in the Udayapur Music Program in Tintale Village, Nepal. The Nepali children were thrilled to receive a hearty “Namaste” from their new … Read More

DunDun Instruments we teach: Mali

DunDun

The dun dun (“Dunun”) is a double headed, cylindrical drum typically with a wooden shell (although metal and fibreglass shells exist) and cowhide heads (although, some have goat-skin heads). The heads are held on with rope and often steel rings. The dundun is very popular throughout West Africa and usually accompanies the Djembé. Methods of … Read More

Playing For Change Foundation Honored As 2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

For the second year in a row, Playing For Change Foundation has been honored with a prestigious 2014 Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations. The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that Playing For Change Foundation received – reviews written by volunteers, … Read More

Jean Paul Samputu: Music and Forgiveness 20 Years After the Genocide

Jean Paul Samputu: Music and Forgiveness

Star School Music Program – Kigali, Rwanda Twenty years ago, Rwandan musician Jean Paul Samputu was one of the few members of his immediate family who was not killed during the genocide. Here, he speaks with us about his journey to survive, to forgive and to begin again. Music was critical to him finding his … Read More

Building the Dream

Udayapur Music Program – Udayapur, Nepal In Tintale Village in rural Nepal, we have been privileged to partner with the Aura Imports Sponsorship Project, which began by building a school there in 2009. With your help, we brought music education to the school. This past year, generous support generated through the PFC Foundation enabled us … Read More

Curitiba, Brazil | Hundreds of Musicians, Thousands of People, One Dream

The PFC Foundation is launching its first music program in South America in Curitiba, Brazil, thanks to the amazing work of a community that decided to take action through the power of music. Having hosted a record-breaking PFC Day 2014 extravaganza boasting over 100 performances throughout the city, as well as a sold-out PFC Band … Read More

Thank you For Believing Bangkok, Thailand

Thank you For Believing

Today we are happy to share a video from the teachers and children of the PFC Foundation music program in Khlong Toey, a community in Bangkok, Thailand, where 100,000 people live in a 2-square-mile radius and face many challenges every day. Music is bringing joy and hope to the children who participate in the program, … Read More

John A. McKenna Executive Director

John A. McKenna

John A. McKenna serves Playing For Change Foundation with the shared vision that music unites and love heals. John offers extensive experience as a public affairs specialist in the mass media and nonprofit space. As founder of KENNASCOPE, a consulting company operating at the intersection of content creation and social impact for mission-based projects, he … Read More

Geraldine Nemrod

Program Co-Founder Khlong Toey Music Program – Thailand A musician since the age of eight, Gigi arrived in Bangkok from France in 2009 and first worked as a scientist at Mahidol University. Searching for something more meaningful after two years in Thailand, she followed a passion for music and began to formally teach piano. After … Read More

Gail Leibowitz Vice President

Gail Leibowitz

Board of Directors: Vice President Gail has always been an avid music fan and when she saw the Playing for Change band she couldn’t help but fall in love with the music and the mission! She is also a passionate entrepreneur who is working toward creating change to help people in underserved communities. Gail could … Read More

Music Gives Us Peace Kathmandu, Nepal

Music Gives Us Peace

Mitrata Nepal Music Program – Kathmandu, Nepal Imagine if you were a young music student and had the opportunity to perform for one of the most famous musical groups in your country. For the children of the Mitrata Home, where founder Nanda Kulu has saved the lives of literally hundreds of children who had nowhere … Read More

Raan Williams Treasurer

Raan Williams

    Board of Directors: Treasurer In 1998, armed with a B.A. in business from The Ohio State University, Raan moved west to start a career in Entertainment Business Management. With over 11 years of experience working with some of Hollywood’s most prominent actors, musicians, and filmmakers, Raan brings a creative and business foundation to … Read More

Stacie Freasier Board member

Stacie Freasier

Stacie Freasier is a social sector enthusiast who had developed a deep understanding of all facets of philanthropic practice and nonprofit management over fourteen years of professional and volunteer experience. She has advanced a kaleidoscope of missions in a variety of functions at Planned Parenthood, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Foundation, the San Diego … Read More

Galeno de Castro Music teacher

Galeno de Castro

Music Teacher Cajaru Music Program – Brazil Galeno de Castro Júnior é músico autodidata, percussionista, multi instrumentista, pesquisador instrumental étnico e compositor, morador de Balneário Camboriú – SC desde 1987, Nascido em maio de 1979 na cidade de Lages, no planalto Catarinense. É um fomentador das mais diversas culturas musicais. Conta com um acervo de … Read More

Seema Tikare Board member

Seema Tikare

Seema Tikare grew up as a nomad, having lived in Pondicherry, Goa, and Bangalore, India, then Lake City, Florida and Augusta, Georgia and finally, Rheine, Germany before the age of 18. All this movement instilled a lifelong curiosity and wanderlust in her. The driving forces in Seema’s life have been the desire to see the … Read More

Alan Eccel

Alan is an entreprenor from Brusque, Santa Catarina, Brazil. He graduated from Positivo University in Curitiba and is now the CEO of NDI, an international commerce company based in Brazil. Alan discovered PFC a few years ago and decided to take action to help the movement to grow. After organizing successful PFC day in 2014 … Read More

Greg Johnson

Greg’s lifelong love of music began as far back as he can remember, growing up with his family surrounded by the sounds of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash. It was this influence of musicians with poetic lyrics and powerful messages that led Greg to expand his love for music to include Bob Marley, … Read More

Meet with Motoom Khlong Toey Music Program - Thailand

Meet with Motoom

  Khlong Toey Music Program Motoom plays the ukulele and melodica, and wants to starts singing more, too. She says that, “At home, there is not a lot to do,” so her mother encourages her to head to the music school to play. Motoom’s family sees how happy she is, and through that encouragement she … Read More

Meet with Sarju Udayapur Music Program - Nepal

Meet with Sarju

  Udayapur Music Program – Nepal Sarju lives with his family in Tintale Village, Nepal, and has a younger brother, Suraj, who also attends the music program. He is a young man that seems to excel at everything he attempts. Born in the Dalit caste, Sarju would normally not have any opportunity for a formal … Read More

Mothers Can Change the World

Tintale Village Mother´s Society – Nepal When we provided resources to the Mother’s Society in Tintale, Nepal, we knew there was a great need. Now, several years later, we stand in awe of the creativity and courage of this group of women – and the girls who have joined them – who are using music, … Read More

Playing For Change Foundation Honored As 2016 Top-Rated Non-Profit

We’re thrilled to announce the Playing For Change Foundation has been honored with a prestigious Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations ( 2013-2016) The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that we received – reviews written by volunteers, donors and clients. People … Read More

Star School Music Program

Star School Music Program – Kigali, Rwanda In 2013 the Playing For Change Foundation launched a new music and sports program in Masaka, a village near Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. The program takes place at Star School, a primary and secondary school founded by Bishop Nathan Amooti that now provides education for more than 300 … Read More

Five Years Later – Tintale village, Nepal

 Udayapur Music Program  & Tintale Village, Nepal After 5 years, it is clear that sustained music education is changing the lives of children and the village of Tintale in a remote mountain region of Nepal. Watch our new video and hear about the change first-hand from some people who have lived it.

Bansuri Instruments we teach: Nepal

Bansuri

The bansuri is a bamboo flute that ranges in size from 12 to 40 inches in length. It is an ancient instrument with roots in Indian and Nepali folk music. The bansuri is associated with Hindu stories of Krishna and Radha, and also appears in Buddhist paintings as far back as 100 CE. There are … Read More

Djembé Instruments we teach: Mali

Djembé

The djembé is probably the most popular african instrument around the globe. It is a west african Malinké drum, mounted with a goat or a cow skin, whose origins dates back to the 13th century. In Bambara or Malinké, “djembé” means “to gather”; this instrument accompanies a lot of important moments of the West African … Read More

Meet with Aygo Khlong Toey Music Program, Thailand

Meet with Aygo

Khlong Toey Music Program Aygo is a talented and spirited ukelele student at the Khlong Toey music program. She is a brave young lady who recently told her story for an upcoming Thai PBS documentary on PFCF’s efforts in Thailand. Aygo lives in a very small house in the Khlong Toey slum with 10 other … Read More

Qongqothwane (The Click Song)

The students of the Ntonga Music School perform Qongqothwane (“The Click Song”) Qongqothwane is a traditional song of the Xhosa people of South Africa. It is sung at weddings to bring good fortune. In the western world it is mainly known as The Click Song, a nickname given to the song by European colonials who … Read More

Solar Power And Helping Hands Arrive In Tintale Village

October 17, 2013 Tintale Village, Nepal Dear family and friends, Time has passed so quickly. We’ve been in Tintale now for 10 days and I finally have a moment to check in with you. Our internet connection is through an Ncell card and my laptop. It seems to work on a minimal level although uploading … Read More

On September 21st The World Came Together To Play For Change

We Did It! 1Love Playing For Change Day was out of this world! Thanks to the dedicated support of event coordinators, fans, and music lovers like you, there were 316 events in 56 countries celebrating our annual day of music and positive social change. We’re pleased to let you know that we exceeded our goal, … Read More

Interview with Jane Star School, Masaka, Rwanda

Interview with Jane

Star School Music Program – Kigali, Rwanda In 2013 the Playing For Change Foundation launched a new music and sports program in Masaka, a village near Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. The program takes place at Star School, a primary and secondary school founded by Bishop Nathan Amooti that now provides education for more than 300 … Read More

Stand By Me Scholarship Program

Learn more about the Stand By Me Scholarship Program at playingforchange.org/stand_by_me More than a decade ago, Playing For Change was inspired when one man, Roger Ridley, sang familiar words to a popular song: “No matter who you are. No matter where you go in life. At some point, you’re gonna need somebody to stand by … Read More

Meet with Samiksha Udayapur Music Program - Nepal

Meet with Samiksha

Udayapur Music Program – Nepal Samiksha has one brother and one sister. Her mother and father are both teachers in Katari. She has a passion to learn to play harmonium and madal drum. At first it was difficult for her to learn but after regular practice it became easier. She wants to learn to play … Read More

Meet with Chitra – Nepal Mitrata Music Program, Nepal

Meet with Chitra – Nepal

Mitrata Music Program – Nepal Chitra is a young flute player who lives at the Mitrata home, in Kathmandu and attends classes in our music program. Chitra’s goal is to become a great musician and he believes this effort gives him a chance to make his future bright. He says that PFCF’s support has already … Read More

Our Mind is Halfway Khlong Toey - Bangkok, Thailand

Our Mind is Halfway

Khlong Toey Music Program | Bangkok, Thailand The Khlong Toey Music program was co-founded in August of 2012 by Aom Amm and French teacher /social activist Gigi Nemrod. It was a response to help meet the emotional needs of the poor in the Khlong Toey slum by providing music instruction and a safe environment for … Read More

Return To Tintale Village

October 5, 2013 Katari, Nepal Nameste! Our awesome Nepal team departed Kathmandu yesterday October 5th at 4:30am for the Udayapur district, Katari and Tintale village and we arrived after dark last night. The trip took about 14 hours and we are all very exhausted. Among a few challenges we came upon a bridge that was … Read More

Rasha Khawaja Board member

Rasha Khawaja

      Rasha Khawaja is the founder and CEO of Toucan. Rasha’s innate desire for knowledge took her to Brown University where she studied Psychiatry and Cognitive Science. Further education followed at both Oxford University and Cambridge University before Rasha started her career at Condé Nast Publications and went on to work at Christie’s. … Read More

Ella Windsor Board member

Ella Windsor

Board Member Ella met PFC Co-Founder Mark Johnson in Santa Monica in July 2012 with PFC Band members Jason Tamba and Mermans Mosengo. Since then she has never looked back. She loves music and how music can help people, especially young people. A writer and consultant based in London, she works with non-profits including the … Read More

For Pete’s Sake!

In June of 2013, a collection of teachers, students, former students, and parents from Moorlands Elementary School in Kenmore Washington came together to present “With My Own Two Hands – A Musical Celebration of Peace and Community.” The evening was inspired by the “Playing for Change” movement and featured everything from a student choir to … Read More

Jessica Priego Estrella Board member

Jessica Priego Estrella

  Jessica Priego Estrella joined the PFCF Board in 2017 to share her expertise in marketing and communications and to support her life-long appreciation for the arts. Her passion for causes that celebrate children and embrace diverse cultures through music drew her to the global work of the Playing for Change Foundation. With a national network of … Read More

African and Brazilian Music Workshop in Lisbon, Portugal

A few months ago we were approached by the organization of InArte – International Meetings of Inclusion through the Arts – which has been working for several years on the field of social integration through arts. Every year in Lisbon, Portugal, different seminars, performances and workshops designed to bring together artists, technicians, teachers, psychologists, students, … Read More

One Love Nepal

In recent days, we have joined you and the global community to send our love and thoughts to the people of Nepal. We have been anxious to hear from many treasured members of the Playing For Change family in the wake of the devastating earthquake. With two PFC Foundation music programs located in the hardest-hit … Read More

Meet with Giopal Udayapur Music Program - Nepal

Meet with Giopal

Udayapur Music Program Giopal can play the harmonium and the madal. Giopal has always enjoyed music. Before taking music classes, Giopal often learned music on holidays and in his free time. He hopes to someday improve at the harmonium and madal as well as learn to play the guitar and the flute. “I can feel … Read More

Los Angeles Music Students Play For Change In First-Ever Practive-A-Thon

Students at The Schuler Music Studio have been working hard over the past few weeks in the studio’s first ever Practice-A-Thon, which saw them raising money for the Playing For Change Foundation. Funds were raised according to the amount of time each student spent in weekly practice at their instruments. “This project is about kids … Read More

Tintale Village Mother’s Society

Tintale Village Mother´s Society – Tintale Village, Nepal This collective of powerful women led by Devi Karki utilize artistic expression to teach young girls about the perils they face from dark-hearted traffickers. Devi discovered that all too many villagers are surprisingly unaware of this tragedy in their midst. Through creative storytelling and mesmerizing song and … Read More

The Tintale Women’s Alliance Journeys To Kathmandu

Pratigya, Devi, Manu and Asha of the Tintale Village Women’s Alliance traveled the rigorous 15-hour journey from Tintale Village to Kathmandu this past summer. They recorded a number of spirited folk melodies in the studio– the first time any of them have ever seen a a professional recording space, and the first time two of … Read More

Tama Instruments we teach: Mali

Tama

The Tama or “Talking Drum” is a traditional percussion instrument very popular all over West Africa. It is traditionally a Griot instrument and it is considered one of the oldest percussion instruments in West Africa. The particularity of this instrument is that its tone can be pitched by pressing or releasing the strings that hold … Read More

Tula and Roberto Luti : Teach your Children

Tal Ben Ari ‘Tula’ and Roberto Luti perform “Teach Your Children” in honor of Playing For Change Day on September 22, 2012. PLAYING FOR CHANGE DAY was created in 2011 to unite the global community through the power of music. On Playing For Change Day, communities will gather as musicians and music lovers from all over … Read More

Interview with Mahamadou & Seydou Ecole de Musique de Kirina, Mali

Interview with Mahamadou & Seydou

In this interview, filmed in Kirina, Mali. Mahamadou Diabaté and Seydou Dembelé, respectively Director and Administrator at Ecole de Musique de Kirina explain how the music school got started, and the impact of the music school on the community.

Musical Roots & Cultural Connections

Bizung School of Music & Dance – Ghana Mohammed Alidu, founder of the of the PFCF music school in Tamale, Ghana, invites you to discover the school and its musical roots. Hear the sounds of the instruments, meet with the kings of the Northern region of Ghana, and get a sneak preview of the first … Read More

Patrick Liotta PFC Diamante, Argentina

Patrick Liotta

Playing For Change Diamante, Argentina Patrick Liotta has worked as a travel photographer and photojournalist for newspapers and news agencies including the Associated Press, but has studied music since he was a child, learning piano, guitar, and later, upright bass. He lived in Los Angeles for 14 years while working in the film industry on … Read More

Jorge Amaolo PFC Patagonia, Argentina

Jorge Amaolo

PFC Patagonia, Argentina Born in the North of Patagonia, in the province of Rio Negro, he was sent to a primary school in Salesian school and later received a construction technician degree in secondary school. He studied film and video and was founder of CECICO, the first cooperative of teaching, film, and video production in … Read More

Udayapur Music Program

Udayapur Music Program – Nepal In the summer of 2007, William Aura traveled to the remote village of Tintale in Nepal’s eastern valley. He was the first western man to see how the villagers there lived from day-to-day. At that time the place had no electricity, no telephones, and no modern sanitation. The people of … Read More

Meet with Marietou École De Musique de Kirina - Mali

Meet with Marietou

École De Musique de Kirina Marietou plays the Djembe and is very excited to be among the best in her age group. Both of her parents are farm workers, but she intends to leave the farm and pursue a future in singing. She doesn’t get to play music outside of the classroom, so she is … Read More

Meet with Tar Khlong Toey Music Program,Thailand

Meet with Tar

Khlong Toey Music Program Tar is studying guitar, eventually he’d like to learn to play rock music. He loves that it is fun and adds value to his free time, after playing music he feels content. He has been studying at the music school every Saturday for over a year and recently changed to come … Read More

Meet with Utsav Musica Music Institute - Nepal

Meet with Utsav

 Musica Music Institute Utsav has been blind since birth. We met at the Early Rehabilitation Center Kathmandu, Nepal, where he expressed his deep desire to someday play music in a band. He said he learned guitar and sings songs but never had the opportunity to perform with others. “This is my biggest dream,” Utsav says.He spoke … Read More

Meet with Kritika Udayapur Music Program - Nepal

Meet with Kritika

Udayapur Music Program Kritika is eleven years old and one of two children; their father is the village priest and their mother is the leader of the Mother’s Society, a group of local women who educate people in neighboring communities about the rights of women and girls with a focus on social justice. She loves … Read More

Players For Change

Tintale Village Mother´s Society – Tintale Village, Nepal This group of dedicated and powerful women led by Devi Karki and supported by the Playing For Change Foundation, use drama, dance and music to teach others about the perils of the trafficking of young girls. These “Players For Change” are without a doubt saving lives through … Read More

Passing on the Knowledge

Udayapur Music Program – Udayapur, Nepal PFCF Volunteers Rashmi Adhikari and Shyam Basnet interview harmonium player and music teacher Dhruba Kumar Ghimire in Tintale Village, Nepal. Village flute teacher Jeevan Magar joins in as the conversation runs deep from how a body responds to playing music to the importance of the teacher’s attitude.

The Change is here (Mali)

3 of the greatest musicians in Africa came to visit the music school of Kirina, Mali, created by the Playing For Change Foundation: Toumani Diabaté, Baaba Maal and Habib Koité. In February 2010 the Playing for Change crew broke the ground in Kirina Mali, to start the project of a music school and to record Baaba Maal with … Read More

A Visit at Ecole de Musique de Kirina

L’Ecole de Musique de Kirina (the Music School of Kirina) opened its doors in October of 2010. Every week, more than 300 kids attend free classes in kora, balafon, djembé, talking drum, dance, musical theory, traditional History, English and French. Kirina is a village whose musical traditions have been passed down from generation to generation … Read More

Mitrata Nepal Music Program

Mitrata Nepal Music Program – Kathmandu, Nepal Mitrata means friendship in Nepali. It’s a word that epitomizes the meaning of love, care and support. Their mission is to serve and uplift the less privileged. It has always been Nanda Kulu’s dream to establish a home for underprivileged children. Started in 2000 by Nanda this very … Read More

Ecole de musique de Kirina – The start of the project

Watch the villagers of Kirina, Mali, build their new music school with the support of the Playing For Change Foundation. Our friend Mahamadou Diabate— brother of famed Kora player Toumani Diabate, and a wonderful musician in his own right– approached the Playing For Change Foundation about building a music school in his native country of … Read More

First Month Of Classes At The Bizung School Of Music & Dance

The Bizung School of Music and Dance opened on May 17, 2010. Over 150 students have registered for classes and school is officially in session! PFC Band member Mohammed Alidu and his brother Abdul “Abraman” Rahaman have put together a comprehensive program of drumming, dance, xylophone, gonje, and singing. It is the 1st school of … Read More

Welcome to Tamale | Bizung School of Music & Dance

Bizung School of Music & Dance – Tamale, Ghana Students at the Bizung School of Music & Dance are learning traditional Ghanian music and dance within the school’s classrooms, and teachers are spreading these rich artistic traditions to the city’s youth.. Program Coordinator, François, created this video that will transport you into the heart of … Read More

Opening Day at Bizung School of Music and Dance

Bizung School of Music & Dance – Ghana In February 2010, the Playing For Change Foundation opened its second music school in Tamale, Ghana, hometown of PFC band member Mohammed Alidu. Alidu is the descendant of a lineage of drummer chiefs from the Northern Region of Ghana called the Bizung. The school offers classes in … Read More

Tintale Village Music Program – Nepal

Tintale Village Mother´s Society – Tintale Village, Nepal In the summer of 2007 William Aura traveled to the remote village of Tintale in Nepal’s eastern valley. He was the first western man to see how the villagers there lived from day-to-day. At that time the place had no electricity, no telephones, and no modern sanitation. … Read More