EMPOWERING CHILDREN TRHOUGH 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.
Opened in 2013, the KTMP Music School occupies a modest five-story shophouse building in the heart of “70 Rai,” one of the largest and most centrally located slum areas in Khlong Toey.
This is a safe, positive space where children can let their creativity flourish while they make new friends, have fun and set out on the wonderful journey of music.
Volunteer instructors currently teach private or small group lessons in guitar, ukulele, bass, keys, drums, violin and voice on Thursday evenings. Saturday afternoons are devoted mainly to rehearsals for KTMP’s two bands, one for the younger students and another for those with more experience. The atmosphere is relaxed, but lessons and rehearsals are taken seriously.
Formal music theory is taught in small doses, but KTMP emphasizes rock, pop, folk, soul, reggae and jazz as opposed to classical music. The children are taught how to respond to one another in the context of a band, and ongoing performances at events encourage them to do their best.
Up to 30 kids are in attendance on Saturdays, with around 15 who are firmly dedicated at any given time.
In addition to the regular music lessons, rehearsals and recordings, the school plays host to visual arts lessons, workshops (dance, yoga, capoeira…), games, birthday parties, shared meals, meetings and video conferencing calls with other PFCF-associated schools from around the world. Being in touch — and even singing along — with other kids in Asia and Africa strengthens cross-cultural awareness on both sides, and it’s a lot of fun!
Meet our Kids
INSTRUMENTS WE TEACH
Piano & keyboard
Ukulele, Guitar & Bass
Our music program exists thanks to each and every donation that has been made. There is no such thing as a small amount for us. By making a donation, you help us ensure that there’s a safe place for the Khlong Toey kids to learn and thrive through music.
– Gigi, founder of KTMP