The Gaza Music School is celebrating the arrival of two brand new pianos.
“The old piano was not in good condition, to say the least. It was hit in the bombing last winter and was turned into a mound of metal,” said Director Ibrahim Al-Najar.
The school, which is affiliated with the A.M. Qattan Foundation, opened its doors a few months before the Gaza bombardment erupted and it has suffered from having no pianos, which are nearly impossible to find on the local market.
“It is critical to have a piano. Often it accompanies other instruments like the violin and the guitar. Classwork can’t be completed without piano instruction,” said the director. “For a year, we haven’t had a piano. Now we have two and our students will be able to play the instrument they love.”
Of the 50 talented seven- to eleven-year-old students attending the school, ten are studying the piano as their primary instrument.
The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music purchased the new pianos in the West Bank and ANERA, which has partnered with the Conservatory for many years, organized the transportation of the instruments – through the closed borders of Gaza – to the Gaza Music School.
“The children come and touch the keys to try them out. The pianos are of the best brand and are designed especially for training children,” said Lina, one of the piano teachers.
Sarah, a 10-year-old student, expressed her delight with the instrument. “The old piano was really hard to play because you had to pound heavily on the keys. This one is much easier to play and it sounds so much better too.”
The Gaza Music School was established in response to a growing demand for music education voiced by parents and children in Gaza. The school was inaugurated in October 2008. It has since been a place where children can come and play different instruments to break their sense of isolation. It opens opportunities for children to grow and be exposed to a variety of cultures through the international language of music.