This June, I am delighted to be going to Jordan to teach music to Syrian refugee children with Songs For Syrians, a new program through The Syria Fund!  I am asking you all to join me in raising funds for this valuable program.

The Syria Fund has helped build multiple classrooms and has brought critically-needed supplies for Syrian families who have made it out of their war-torn country and into Jordan. You can read all about them on this website. Lexi and Demetri (founders of The Syria Fund) invited me to develop a music education program at the end of June.  I am partnering with Nina Stern, a professional recorder player and founder of S’cool Sounds, to bring music to the lives of 100 refugee children.  


This June, The Syria Fund is launching Songs for Syrians, a music and dance workshop for Syrian children and their teachers in Azraq, Jordan. The program uses music as therapy, building teamwork and other skills and helping inspire children’s pride in their cultural heritage. It will also include teacher training to set-up a long-term music program at the school.

We’ll spend a week teaching instrumental music and dance to the students and teachers at SAWA using recorders and local percussion. The workshop will culminate in a concert for the wider community featuring our students, teachers, and local musicians who will perform both traditional Syrian songs and ones we bring from the U.S.




Nina and I have done this kind of work together in the past in Burundi and in Kenya, bringing music education to communities who are struggling. We've learned from our successful programs in those countries that building a music education program requires not only working with the children but also with the adults who will be carrying on this work when we leave.

It is so important that the children understand their own music and dance as national treasures to learn, enjoy and share with the world, in addition to learning the basic building blocks of music.  The programs we started at Village Health Works in Burundi  and in Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya are thriving.  The video on this page shows the past success that Nina and I have had in Burundi. 

Another exciting component of this trip is the inclusion of children from the Washington Montessori School (New Preston, CT) where I teach.  They have learned an Arabic lullaby and a peace round and they are going to record their performances so the Syrian children will be able to see and hear them.  While we are in Jordan, we will record a video of the Syrian children singing and playing some of the same music and bring the video back to the children at Washington Montessori School.  Music will connect these two communities and bring joy, laughter, and greater understanding to both groups of children. 


I am hoping to raise $3,000. These funds will specifically support:

  • Air travel to Jordan
  • 100+ Yamaha recorders
  • 2 sets of Step Bells
  • 2 Sets of Chromatic Melody Bells
  • Assorted local percussion
  • Music notation materials

Will you be part of THIS adventure?  

**Please mention MATILDA in your donation to help support my cause! **