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In Candon City, the sound of music echoes

An indispensable aspect of everybody’s culture to say the least, music’s impact and influence on child development is often overlooked as most focus only on academic achievements of children.
 
While math, sciences, linguistics and other fields of study are of great importance, so is the emotion-inducing art form that accentuates rhythm, texture, harmonies and melodies.
 
The City Government of Candon in Ilocos Sur understands music’s vital role as it recently staged a culminating recital on August 12 at the Candon Civic Center for the 2022 Summer Music Training.

Over 200 young artists, who could possibly make their own marks in music history such as the likes of Antonio Vivaldi, Niccolò Paganini, Philippines’ very own Carmencita Lozada, or the more modern cello prodigy Damodar Das Castillo who is also a teenager, who made music history winning in international competitions last year, participated in the recital.
 
“You have not only acquired a new skill, but you have also unlocked a new possibility,” said Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur Second District Representative Kristine Singson-Meehan, one of the ardent supporters of the Candon City Music Program. 
 
In her message during the recital, she said, “Music is a universal language of the soul. In these times of many challenges, it is truly heartwarming to listen to music made by our very own talents who have dedicated their precious summer breaks to attend this Summer Music Training.”
 
Her father, Mayor Eric Singson is the proponent of the free music training that has been going on for over a decade now and has also been helping provide the instruments— violin, cello, percussion, flute, and others—to the students.  
 
The MDS Heritage Music Foundation, the program mentors and staff, together with the Candon City Chamber Orchestra went to the different barangays of the city to showcase their talent and to attract interested citizens to enroll. 
 
Among those who joined the call, Sianna Celestine, a charming four-year old girl who was limping a little, walked to her new-found friends who were also waiting to perform their pieces. 
 
Her mother shared that this was her daughter’s first time to wear closed shoes as the last two years consumed by the pandemic did not allow her child to enjoy the outdoors. 
 
“Parang feeling ko ito na iyong ice breaker niya from academics, ito na iyong opportunity niyang lumabas after ng pandemic,” Sianna’s supportive mom said. 
 
She told that she waited as Sianna’s two-hour classes ended, and that it was a small sacrifice on their part. 
 
She happily said, “Maganda siyang initiative ng city, magandang opportunity dahil free instruments na so parang at least motivation na lang talaga ng estudyante ang kailangan kung gusto niya talagang matuto.”
 
As told by her, they were first told that her child is not eligible for the training since they were only supposed to accept five-year-old as the youngest.
 
They eventually accepted Sianna into the program after noticing that she is capable of joining.
 

Young artists of Candon City perform during the culminating recital of the Summer Music Training at the Candon Civic Center. PIA/ATV
Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur Second District Representative Kristine Singson-Meehan thanks the parents and their children for having a leap of faith on the music program of the city. PIA/ATV
Violin beginners, including (L) four-year old youngest 2022 Summer Music Training completer, Sianna, perform the classis Twist and Shout of The Beatles. PIA/ATV)

Despite quite the age gap with her peers, Sianna, with a little adjustment and consideration from the mentors and assistants, attended her classes with much enthusiasm and learned to play the violin.
 
The teachers of the program are the scholars of representative Singson-Meehan at the St. Paul Conservatory of Music. 
 
Retired member of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra Jorge Joy B. Sababan as their music director, conducted the final performance of the violin and cello beginners with the piece Twist and Shout by legends, The Beatles. 

Candon City mayor Eric Singson emphasizes the importance of music for children during his message at the 2022 Summer Music Training Culminating Recital. PIA/ATV

“Alam po natin na ang musika ay makakatulong para sa mga anak natin, especially dito sa pag-aaral kung paano tumugtog ng mga instrumento. We will not stop, we will continue this program as we know that this will help our children a lot in preparing them, training them with music will really guide them to grow as a student,” Candon City mayor Eric Singson said.
 
Children are often told they could grow into teachers, engineers, doctors, and soldiers.
 
For so long, dreaming of becoming singers, writers, guitarists, painters, or violinists were not as appreciated. 
 
As one turns into an adult, realizations surface—there is a vast world before us, flying colors and high grades may sound nice but the sound of music may very well be what some of us are meant to chase. (JCR/AMB/ATV, PIA Ilocos Sur)

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Aila Villanueva

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