by Faith Ayers
Last week was our first Mosaic Music Camp, an outreach program of the Children’s and Fine Arts Ministries at the Gethsemane Campus. Over thirty K-5th grade children from all over the Gulfton/Sharpstown area came to this week-long program. We had no idea what to expect, but we had a hope that we could create a space where children could discover their musical abilities in a safe, fun, and loving place at a minimal cost to their families. God did that in a big way. He made a way for us to give our children a quality introductory music education that also included recreation and crafts, a meal and snacks all for just $15 per child for the entire week. This was possible through donated and loaned instruments, teachers who worked for a pittance, and the hard working Gethsemane Campus youth group and adult members who volunteered.
Each day children had a blast receiving hands-on instruction in guitar, piano, percussion, and voice. They were so focused and worked hard. On day one they were tentative and the sounds spilling out of the classrooms were a bit clunky. As the week went on, the sounds in the halls changed into discernible melodies, steady beats, and vocal harmonies.
The children worked diligently to learn the song Dona Nobis Pacem which means “grant us peace” or the kid-friendly “give us peace.” Not only did they learn to make music, they got to experience it through live performances from gifted professional musicians. They were exposed to many styles of music like jazz trumpet, classical harp, musical theatre, and the rare sounds of the Indian tabla.
The week culminated in the Give Us Peace Concert where the children presented the results of their hard work. All together they sang and played Dona Nobis Pacem for a room full of loved ones and had the opportunity to display individual talents in a talent show. They were so brave to get up and play songs that they had only learned four days prior.
There were 10 countries and seven languages represented in our student body. It is the most beautiful sight and sound you could imagine. Together we made music, laughed hard, ate, helped each other get over boo-boos, and encouraged each other. We were the body of Christ. Yes, Lord, dona nobis pacem.