Music Heroes: Leno Banton and Mitchie Williams
Music education in Jamaica needs our support. Vinyl entrepreneur Mitchie Williams and artist Leno Banton offer two takes on how music education and Jamaica Nice are making a difference.
Everyone who purchases Jamaica Nice. gear is a hero for music education. Part proceeds from every sale supports students at the Alpha School of Music, programming on Alpha Boys School Radio and music appreciation at primary schools across Jamaica. In schools we see first hand the impact music education makes on the self-esteem, academic focus and career horizons of youth.
But don't just take our word for it. See what dancehall reggae artist Leno Banton and veteran vinyl record entrepreneur Mitchie Williams say about music education in Jamaica...
Mitchie: I don’t think music education is accessible in Jamaica, and even if you do get access, sometimes the costs for lessons are high. Music education should start from as early as basic school with other instruments included as they grow.
Leno: When I was in school music education wasn't really very interesting because in
prep school, the first thing they taught you to play is a recorder which, really and truly,
can be a very loud, and have an unpleasant sound if you do not play it right.
I honestly don't remember any music instrument that they taught us in
high school — or any music software, or anything like that.
Mitchie: Music education should be a major part of our schools curriculum, I’m talking about all aspects, from the studio to the business aspects of it . The music is too wide for kids to just learn to play the recorder alone.
Leno: A lot of people are making a lot of stuff on their computers but if you yourself can
play instruments you might not fully understand certain things and or have the respect
for the music.
Mitchie: Seeing that we [Jamaica] have such a rich musical history, and that we’re extremely blessed with raw talent, there’s no doubt that we can achieve even more than our predecessors with music education.
Leno: The more persons or organizations supporting music education will be very
beneficial because the knowledge needs to be there. Players of instruments are very
needed regardless. I don't think there will ever be ‘too much’ live music.
EXPLORE JAMAICA NICE.
Part proceeds from the sale of every Jamaica Nice. top and accessory supports the community. Jamaica Nice. funds music scholarships for tertiary students, workshops and educational experiences for Jamaicans at the high school and college level, teaching residencies for foreign music educators at schools in Jamaica and international exchanges for students and teachers. Click for our latest activities.