Our participant Vivienne is currently living in Nicaragua, where she is doing a volunteer placement at the local music school in León. In this blog entry, Vivi reports about her life abroad and provides great photos as well as information about her placement.
My name is Viviv and I am currently doing a volunteer placement at the music school in León. I mostly teach the clarinet as well as music theory, but from time to time I also sing with my students or teach them rhythmics.
However, all I do goes along with the Nicaraguan lifestyle and moto “tranquilo“ (take your time!). At the beginning I was quite surprised about the differences to the teaching structures in Germany: My students attend the lessons on a voluntary basis whenever they want and attending is not compulsory. All in all, I feel that there are less rules at the school compared to schools in my home country, although the director and the teachers are currently working on implementing some changes of the teaching system and to improve the organizational structures.
Anyways, volunteering here is absolutely worth it!
During the weekends there is lots to do around here and I am using my days off to explore León and its surroundings. I feel that Nicaragua is such a diverse country: There are mountains, forests, greenery, beaches, the ocean (which is only half an hour away), lakes and even volcanoes!
People here are open and friendly (except some “Machos“ that you meet from time to time and who sometimes whistle at women). In my neighborhood I love to walk home in the evenings and to greet everyone who is sitting in their rocking chairs with „buenas noooooches“.
All in all I can sum up my impressions of Nicaragua the following way: Yummi! (I love the food provided by my lovely and absolutely amazing host granny); from my perspective a little bit chaotic (which you get used to after some time); wonderful nature and of course – hot!
Best regards from in front of the fan,
The music school in León is currently attended by youth (from around 13 years) and young adults between 20-25 years. The participation is free for the students, but since the school only has limited access to funds, the equipment is rather simple.
Teaching hours are on Mon, Wed, Fri (from 8-11 am and from 2-5 pm) as well as on Tue, Thu (from 8-11 am). Three teachers currently work at the school and teaching is done in groups.
Possible instruments are the guitar, piano, clarinet, saxophone, flute, tuba and trombone. Teaching contents include music theory, techniques (on Mondays), Nicaraguan music (on Tuesdays and Thursdays), singing exercises (on Wednesdays), and rhythmics (on Fridays).