(From March 31 to September 30, 2018)


Yamaha held the its “I’m a HERO Program” in Colombia from March 31 to September 30, 2018. The program exposes children to the joy of performing music, and also to significant challenges, in order to help children discover within themselves the strength to face invisible barriers in their lives.


Throughout the world, children face invisible barriers that limit their futures—inequality and poverty, as well as the discrimination, prejudice and other disadvantages that these problems cause. A movement to counter these social problems with the power of music is underway in Latin America, and the Latin American Youth Orchestra and Band is a part of that movement.
The youth orchestra has its beginnings in a government-backed music education project called El Sistema, which was first introduced in Venezuela. Implemented as a national strategy to prevent delinquency and eradicate poverty, El Sistema aims to promote society-wide stability by engaging children in musical activities and securing future employment opportunities for them. Yamaha supports these efforts, and has contributed by promulgating instrument maintenance techniques and training instrument repair technicians.
In Colombia, youth orchestras and bands were launched in Medellín (Red de Escuelas de Música de Medellín) and Bogotá (Fundación Nacional Batuta), for example. Yamaha also played a hand in the creation of a scholarship program called ToKANDO, which is run by Fundación Incolmotos Yamaha, a major partner of ours in Latin America.


New challenges have also appeared. One major problem is a lack of awareness of the importance of and methods used for instrument maintenance, exacerbated by the fact that there are few people who are able to repair broken instruments. To address this problem, we launched the AMIGO Project in 2014, offering workshops to enable people to maintain instruments on their own, and promoting the training of technicians who can repair broken instruments.
In addition, we have developed a new wind instrument that addresses local problems, called “Venova,” which is durable and requires less maintenance, in order to achieve a more fundamental solution.


The “I’m a HERO Program” has created opportunities for children to become heroes ahead of Yamaha’s previous efforts.
Our work on these projects drove our decision to launch the I'm a HERO Program in Colombia. 26 children between the ages of 7 and 13 selected from the Red de Escuelas de Música de Medellín and ToKANDO initiatives were invited to perform on the big stage with the Venova, a new wind instrument.
These children have no prior experience with wind instruments other than the recorder, so in preparation for this event they have spent about 6 months learning to play the new Venova under their respective instructors. On Sunday, September 30, 2018, they joined the players of Colombian football club Atlético Nacional as they take the field for a “Categoría Primera A” match in the Colombian Premier Football League. The children performed the national anthem in front of a large crowd with the accompaniment of Banda Sinfónica de Copacabana a Colombian youth band.


Through their own efforts, these children can take the stage, perform, and receive thunderous applause. We believe that this experience will provide them with the strength to believe in their own power and pave a path to a better future.
We also hope that the sight of the children playing the national anthem will be a symbol of breaking down that invisible wall, spreading courage and self-confidence to all who see it.

Yamaha continues to support the development of youth with the power of music through activities such as the AMIGO Project and School Project.