One November day, the children were practicing for a recital under the guidance of their music teacher Maria Vessmann. Such days are good for the children, Maria says, as music helps children express their bottled up feelings.

Maria comes to Keila SOS Village once a week to give music lessons. „Did you find the lyrics from the Internet?” she asks Martin (the name has been changed), a teenage boy.

Martin lays out a somewhat crumpled sheet, positions the ukulele on his knees, and begins to fill the room with the melancholy sound of the song „Jää hüvasti, kollane koer“ (“Farewell, yellow dog”). Martin is singing and playing while Marina helps him and praises him. „I sang more than I played,” admits the boy later.

Equipment Borrowed from the Teacher

„Children choose the musical pieces by themselves. No doubt, their choice is a reflection of their inner feelings,” says Maria. Music is there to help the emotions emerge, to help settle the past.

Children are also encouraged to choose an instrument to learn. It’s unfortunate though that the choice is very limited. Martin, for example, came to class carrying a ukulele he had borrowed for a week from Maria. „Did you practice at home?” inquires Maria from Martin. „Every single day,” is the reply. Martin tells her about a little girl that joined their family recently. The girl gets sparkles in her eyes every time Martin brings his instrument out to practice. „May I try?” asks the new sister, awestruck, and touches the strings lightly with her finger.

Lack of Instruments

It’s common to have one child at a time in the music class; either there is only one instrument available or one child interested in that particular instrument. There are zithers and a guitar to choose from. Maria always comes with the ukulele and a garmoshka to widen the selection. „We could really use additional equipment to enable more children to learn an instrument,” says Maria.

The lessons for younger children take place in groups. They involve singing, performing rhythmic exercises, and getting to know the small zither.

There will be a concert in the beginning of December where the young musicians perform in front of their sponsors and friends. The children have been practicing more vigorously, and Maria has been paying visits more than once a week. If only there were enough instruments to go around.


Liina Vesiloik, social worker in the SOS Village: hobby-education is stimulating

Participation in hobby-education provides positive emotion and also an experience of success. To have something turn out well brings instant enjoyment.   Hobby-education provides valuable education and upbringing. For example, in the case of music, the child learns to understand and appreciate music and is therefore more likely to remain interested throughout their lives.

There are four hobby classes in Keila SOS Village: music, ballroom dancing, handcrafts, and table tennis. The majority of the children attend at least one of these classes. In addition, they also go to the town of Keila to take part in activities such as soccer, judo, gymnastics, model car building and racing, swimming, and dancing