aura-sm-square-author By William Aura

Too many kids grow up surrounded by drugs, gangs, and poverty in Khlong Toey - Bangkok’s largest slum community. For seven years now dedicated co-founder Geraldine Nemrod (aka Gigi) and the good folks at Khlong Toey Music Program teach music and art for free to underprivileged children. The school provides a safe and uplifting space where self-esteem can strengthen and creativity flourish.

Thanks to a thoughtful donation we delivered a new PFC iRack video kit to Gigi. The kit includes a stabilizing bar for a smartphone, LED lights and an improved microphone for interviews. Gigi quickly set up the new gear and put it to use immediately. Smiles erupted and inspiration flowed. Gigi offers her deep appreciation and says this tool will help her improve her social media content gathering skills in a profound way.

For years the students have generally learned western influenced popular music from the west. They love singing songs together and they improve their understanding of the English language through the lessons and performances. For a longtime, it’s been a desire to offer in the program Thai traditional music training - and up till now, a proper instructor had not been found. We are happy to report that Gigi has discovered kind-hearted Kongkeart Kaeopresoet (aka Palm) – a marvelous Thai classical music instructor who’s committed to teaching the kids.

For everyone joining in the first classroom experience, it was wonderful. Lined up behind the warm and woody handcrafted Thai instruments (the ranaat), the students patiently wait their turn. The instructor first directs them to offer a prayer over the instrument before it is played. These deeply valued traditional methods are eagerly being received by these kids - some for the first time. We thank Palm for encouraging our precious PFCF students to become more mindful of their culture and history.