About Us

Through regular music classes and performances, we are striving to make a positive difference in the lives of the children of the Khlong Toey slum community

Khlong Toey Music Program

OUR JOURNEY

Established in October 2012 by a pair of lifelong musicians  – Geraldine “Gigi” Nemrod, a French resident of Bangkok, and Siriporn “Amm” Pomwong, a Thai native – KTMP is a non-profit organization born out of a passion to create positive social change through music. Inspired by the Playing for Change (PFC) movement and related Playing For Change Foundation (PFCF), Gigi and Amm began by arranging music lessons for underprivileged kids in Khlong Toey. Soon after, PFCF offered its support, and in June 2013, KTMP became the 9th music program to be officially endorsed by Playing For Change Foundation. Today KTMP relies on financial support from PFCF as well as private donations.

In August 2013, KTMP established a small music school in a neighbourhood known as Khlong Toey 70 Rai.

Empowering children through music education

KHLONG TOEY SLUM

With over 100,000 inhabitants spread over a densely populated swathe of Southern Bangkok, Khlong Toey slum is the largest of its community in Thailand. The area was initially developed in the early 20th century around an enormous slaughterhouse, and is now home to Bangkok’s primary shipping port along the Chao Phraya River.

Some Bangkok residents try to avoid the area due to its notorious reputation for crime. Many of the children who grow up here face daily challenges relating to poverty, domestic and gang violence, teenage pregnancy, drug addiction and alcoholism, just to name a few.

Many kids are abused, neglected, abandoned and/or forced to choose between running drugs and living on the streets. Though loving families support and encourage some, a large percentage of children from the Khlong Toey slum encounter obstacles that a child should never have to face.

A musician since the age of 8, Gigi arrived in Bangkok from France in 2009 and first worked as a scientist at Mahidol University. Searching for something more meaningful after 2 years in Thailand, she followed a passion for music and began to formally teach piano. After about six months spent volunteering for different causes, she began to consider ways to have a consistently positive impact on the lives of those in need. Inspired by Playing For Change, she realized that her calling was to help underprivileged children learn music. That’s when she met Amm, who shared the exact same dream, and within a couple of months they had founded the Khlong Toey Music Program together.

Aoy first started learning viola at the age of 18 and studied classical music at Bansomdej Chaophraya University in 2552, with a major in Viola. She studied with Phoonsook Goolabuang and Juris Madrevich thanks to a scholarship from the Sookri Jaroensook foundation. The following year she joined the Dr.sax chamber orchestra and entered the Princess Galyani Vadhana International Ensemble Competition in 2013 and 2014. She teaches violin at Khlong Toey Music Program since 2014.

After first beginning to learn music at the age of 12, Aum completed a degree in Music at Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, majoring in Guitar Jazz. Music is like a religion for him — a medium that allows the mind to find peace. Today he’s a professional musician and has taught as a volunteer with KTMP since the beginning. He teaches mainly guitar but can also teach bass when needed. Aum also composes and arranges songs for our various projects.

Kan

Bo is a teacher. She teaches English and Thai as a foreign language (Gigi is her student!). She knows that children who have little opportunities in life really need the support of kind-hearted adults. She’s been working in the education field for more than 10 years and believes that teaching knowledge and skills to children at their youngest age is essential for them as they will grow up helping themselves and their own country with these very same knowledge and skills. Bo started to work at KTMP in May 2016 with the hope that music would foster the children’s self development in terms of mood, mind and abilities. She is our “super admin”, helping with promoting the project, communication, translation, coordination and so, so much more.

Olive started to learn drums at the age of 10, thanks to her father who taught her. She kept practising on her own as she grew up and in high school she developed an interest for guitar as well. She started to teach herself, then decided to learn further and study guitar as a major for her bachelor degree. Olive just graduated in 2016 and at the time didn’t have much experience in teaching music. But since then, she’s become a professional teacher and she’s learned a lot through the process. Each time she brings her students to perform on stage, she feels excited for them and proud of the outcome of her teaching. She feels good when she realises she is able to give children new abilities and make them play music.

Art

Num started playing music at the age of 7. Her very first teacher was her father. At that time, Num considered music as a real challenge for her skills. She believed that one had to practice very hard in order to become as good as these famous artists she liked. She started practicing with the aim of taking the university entrance examination. She dedicated herself to learning, for a “happiness that was only external” to herself. But as the time passed, she started thinking differently and music slowly appeared as something beautiful that could make her happy from inside as well. For Num, music is an inspiration and she can also rely on it to guide her spirit. It’s for this reason that she wanted to teach the children at Khlong Toey. Because she believes that during childhood and teenage years, kids need someone to show them the right way. We can’t oblige them to follow, but we can use music as a media to show them the direction. Num hopes that music will be like an immunity for them to be able to choose and to distinguish how to lead their own life in a good way.

Nut

I live in a slum, where not many children have the opportunity to learn. Learning music gives me a today.

– Liu, student

KTMP in Photos and Videos