Neri: Small school, big heart

Little Local
ILMC STUDENTS
ILMC STUDENTS

December has had such a flurry of events here and there that it’s been challenging to keep up.

Oh, the holidays—and how easy it is to get lost in the rush of it all.

But, dialing back to the essence of what it truly means, it’s good to cut through all the frills and confetti to remember the reason for the season. Apart from it revolving around Jesus Christ’s birth, it is also a season of giving. To be grateful of our existence and the blessings we’ve been given and have a chance to pay it forward—that’s the sliver of humanity within the holiday commotion.

Recently, I attended one of the bi-annual music recitals of “ILOVEMUSICCEBU” (ILMC) where the students showcased what they had been learning in class. ILMC is a small music school that has been operating for 18 years under the care of Grace Flores, who is also the children’s music teacher. In a conversation she and I had, she mentioned that the goal of every recital is to give back — no matter how small.

The Christmas Recital the group held on Dec. 3, 2023 was in Asmara Urban Resort (its venue partner for six years) and part of the ticket sales were used to purchase food, hygiene kits and reading materials for prison detainees. The rest of the ticket proceeds were split between the recitalists—whose ages range from five to 14 years old—to give them a taste of what it’s like to be a professional performer.

Sitting right in the front row, I got to witness and feel it all and it was just a heartwarming experience. Although it was a very intimate event, I could tell just by being there that the children enjoyed what they were doing. Playing piano pieces and singing in front of a crowd is no easy feat — and I would know ‘cause I grew up doing music recitals myself. Now that I’m older and watching it from an audience point of view, seeing these children muster up the courage to get in front of a crowd to do all that is very inspiring. Not only that, but when you turn to see the look of pride in both their parents’ and teacher’s eyes — the moment becomes priceless.

With all that happened in the hour that I was there, my takeaway was that although ILMC is not a big school, it packs a punch with a big heart.

And that’s what’s important. No matter how big or how small you are, there will always be room to do something meaningful as long as you make space for it.

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