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Guitarist and Educator Empowers Young People Through Music

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Guitarist and Educator David Riare
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David Riare, a visionary musician and dedicated educator from Guadalcanal and Gilbertese heritage, is using the power of music to empower young people in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

David’s musical prowess is not just about melodies; it’s about turning adversity into opportunity. His journey from humble beginnings to a beacon of hope for marginalized youth is a testament to his commitment to fostering a renewed passion for music and the arts.

From an early age, David’s affinity for music was profound. Yet, his path took an unconventional turn when he made the courageous decision to step away from formal education during form five and follow his guitar-strumming dreams. Rather than letting this setback define him, David harnessed music’s potent force to advocate for the importance of education and to guide the aspirations of the next generation.

At the heart of David’s mission are his guitar classes, which empower underprivileged young individuals to embrace newfound confidence. Through these classes, he encourages them to explore new avenues, whether that’s starting businesses or pursuing music careers. Beyond skill development, these classes provide a safe space for them to express their thoughts on important issues.

“Let your instrument be the vessel of your emotions. Practice patience and collaborate with fellow musicians, even those with differing styles. Being a musician encompasses more than mastering an instrument; it’s about baring your soul. And remember, the guitar is not just an instrument; it echoes your essence. Dedicate substantial time to practice – it’s truly indispensable.”

“Cherish your passion and hold onto it unwaveringly. Uphold it during both triumphs and tribulations. Over time, the virtuous seeds you sow will flourish into a garden of accomplishments. Life’s symphony teaches us that music possesses the power to rejuvenate spirits and shape destinies. With each chord strummed, we possess the privilege to incite change, one note at a time.”

David’s own musical journey has been intertwined with the captivating allure of the guitar. It has served as his gateway to understanding the profound impact of music education. Beyond his online guitar lessons, his aspirations transcend the realm of musical notes; they encompass a desire to gift music to youths and children, igniting an appreciation for the guitar’s captivating resonance.

The inception of David’s journey dates back to 2007 when he returned to Honiara after leaving Form 5 in Fiji. Driven by a fervent desire to bridge the gap in music education and mentorship within the Solomon Islands, he delved into music theory books. This journey led him to teach guitar and basic music theory, passing on the knowledge he had acquired.

In 2010, David’s dedication found its home in Maranatha Music Haus, an initiative co-founded by him and friends from his church. This initiative became a platform to share his expertise with children and youth from the Seventh Day Adventist Church, sparking a journey that extended to collaborations with Pastor Jack Laeta.

Through collaboration with Pastor Jack Laeta, David’s efforts extended to marginalized young individuals in Burnscreek, referred to as “Beligas.” This collaboration yielded significant transformations, with 14 young lives being positively impacted. Some embarked on music-related businesses, joined church groups, local bands, and even started teaching guitar to their peers.

“Music education, I’ve come to realize, is an essential link missing from our educational framework. Often confined to performance, production, or instrument play, true music education spans a broader spectrum,” David reflects. “The lack of dedicated music educators or mentors within our nation highlights a critical void. Bridging this gap requires seamlessly integrating music into our curriculum, embracing our youth and children. Essential to this endeavor is recognizing and nurturing music’s intrinsic value – both as a professional domain and a channel for personal growth.”

Undaunted by challenges, David’s commitment paved the way for the expansion of his guitar class programs. Between 2014 and 2017, he collaborated with the Honiara City Council-Youth, Sports, and Women Division, enlisting a total of 50 students, including marginalized youth. These aspiring musicians showcased their talents at national concerts and events, igniting the flames of their musical passion.

David’s dedication extended even to the Rove prison, where he facilitated guitar classes for juvenile inmates as part of a rehabilitation program supported by the Australian Government. These sessions not only honed musical skills but also bolstered the inmates’ self-confidence and self-esteem.

David’s influence transcends the boundaries of the classroom. He founded the Keyz Acoustic Band, gracing bars, hotels, and events in Honiara with his melodious tunes. Furthermore, his collaborations with diverse organizations encompass community service initiatives, awareness campaigns.

Currently, David work as a music tutor at the Solomon Islands National University, a full-time role within the Faculty of Education.

Moreover, he currently supports the Youth, Sports, and Women Division of the Honiara City Council with music programs under its Tokspot project. Collaborating with other youth volunteers, he leverages the power of music to advocate for mental health and well-being among young people in Honiara.

Story by Beyond The Lens

Beyond The Lens is a vibrant online media platform dedicated to advocating for youth issues. Our mission is to empower young people, amplify their voices, and drive positive change throughout the Solomon Islands using the power of online media.

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