Since 2008 Music Missions International (MMI) has been working to bring musical instruments and access to musical instruction on the Island of Dominica. MMI is a Canadian non-profit society and is run by passionate individuals who believe that music is an important part of the development of children and the expression of their culture.
They have not only provided instruments and instruction for the children in Dominica but have also trained national teachers in “Band Conducting.” MMI partners with multiple local and international organizations to promote training in classical music, including organ, piano, and other instruments.
In 2013, MMI had a large supply of musical instruments donated to them in Canada and they needed to ship these instruments to Dominica. The Rotary Club of Sherwood Park raised the funds for shipping costs, and Emmanuel Foundation partnered with them in collecting and crating the instruments, then coordinating the shipping of over 500 band instruments to Dominica.
The three 40’ sea-can containers that have been shipped have not only contained these musical instruments but also goods for the hospital and homeless shelter as well as playgrounds for the schools. In addition, local craftsmen built 60 music stands by hand to go with the instruments and assist the students while playing music!
In 2013, MMI organized a School Band Festival at Arawak House of Culture in Dominica. This gave students from various secondary schools a chance to showcase their musical talents.
The majority of the students have been trained under the “Band Today” program.
“It is a holistic program that includes all the different instruments. It ensures that all students learn at the exact same time, music theory, music history, and the ability to play,” explained Marvin Marie, a music teacher at St. Mary’s Academy.”