The Music School of Excellence at the Strive Community Centre, a charity supporting music education, has a teacher hitting just the right notes.
Jarry Blie, the founder of the music school, is passionate about music — he’s been composing music and playing piano since he was five — and loves to share this passion. “I can’t live without music,” he told us.
Jarry teaches a variety of music classes to the 17 students who make their way to Strive on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
“In Liberia, people prefer to perform music and find it challenging to learn the theory, so I have to find a balance,” Jarry said. "Music theory is essential, so I don't want them to miss that, but I also ensure they get plenty of time to practice and perform for each other."
Music is very important because it has a way of helping people lead a balanced lifestyle— it can uplift you when times are tough. Music can affect your life when it comes to commitment, determination and living with passion,” he said. “Even though I am teaching music, I am also teaching people to be confident, courageous, and adaptable.”
One of the students, Clarence, attends the program thanks to a music scholarship from the Canadian charity Music Beyond Borders. Clarence, a church minister, decided to learn piano so he could play for his congregation. He was singing the praises of the program and Jarry, and says music plays an important role in life.
“Other teachers don’t teach to the level that Jarry does. Many music teachers don’t give students all their knowledge, but Jarry gives his all. He has a passion for it and always gives his time,” he told us. “Music has helped me in so many ways.”
Jarry is determined to create a system that helps students to stay motivated. “I can’t change people or make them committed, but I can create a system that encourages people to stay motivated by showing them that commitment will help to improve their lives as a whole,”
I'm also motivated to improve my ability, says Jarry, "and I am currently looking for an opportunity to take a Master's Music program abroad. "The more I know, the more I can give when I return home."
The music room at Universal Outreach's community center was established in 2019 thanks to the generosity of Instruments Beyond Boarders and the Van Unen family. Instruments Beyond Boarders continues to provide music scholarships to students who lack the financial resources to pursue their love of music.