For many people, music is not just a form of entertainment but a way of life.
Safi, a 20-year-old steel drum and Qanun player and nowadays also one of the instructors at Peace Drums Project. He recently shared with us his experience with Peace Drums project.
Safi's journey with the Peace Drums Project began in 2014 when he was in 5th grade. "It was a new instrument that no one had heard about," he recalls, "But once I heard the sound, I was hooked."
As Safi progressed through the program, his passion for music grew stronger. He spent six years as a student in the project, studying alongside ten other classmates. The class size was perfect, providing enough variety and interest while also allowing for personalized attention for each child.
Music is a way to bring people together, and Safi believes in maintaining connections with his former students. He said, "I had an unforgettable time playing and traveling together, I met people I wouldn't have known if not for the project."
One of the highlights of Safi's time in the Peace Drums Project was traveling to Vienna in July 2022 to perform with Ukrainian refugee children. The workshop was led by the project's founder, Harvey Price, and World Famous Oud virtuoso, Marwan Abado. The students performed ten songs at the end of the workshop. ‘It was an amazing experience."
In November 2021, after studying music almost his entire life and playing multiple instruments including the Qanun, Piano, Percussion, and others, Safi was offered a chance to become an instructor in the Peace Drums Project.
"Teaching is not as easy as people think," he admits. "My main goal is to get the students to love the instrument first, then comes the playing. I try to create a fun and comfortable learning environment for the kids." As an instructor, Safi is passionate about helping his students develop their skills and love for music. He's also thrilled to be able to give back to the program that helped him so much.
His favorite part is watching the children come together through music. He said, "It's always amazing to see the children working together as a team while playing. It's a beautiful thing to see them come together through music, and it's really rewarding."
To parents considering enrolling their children in the Peace Drums Project, Safi says, "I encourage it from the bottom of my heart, the project really helped a lot. It is not just music, it is creating social connections and building relationships with others. It improves your social skills, especially when traveling abroad together and doing concerts."
"I love the idea of steel drums being a musical instrument that has this unique sound," he says. "The project gave me the chance to build relationships with musicians from all over the world and gave me experiences"
Becoming an instructor in the Peace Drums Project made Safi complete a circle. His experiences show that the project has a profound impact on the students, the instructors, and the community as a whole, providing children with music education while also fostering cultural exchange.
The Peace Drums Project was founded by Harvey Price in 2014 and operates in the regions of Israel and Palestine, seeking to bring together young people from different cultures and create a collaborative musical ensemble. The organization strongly believes that music serves as a bridge for communication and promotes common understanding. The project is about more than just music, it's about building relationships and improving social skills.