“10 Stories of Possibility” – Marie & her family
(From left to right) Jaden, Micheala and Alex with their mother Marie at OrKidstra’s Vanier Hub. Photo by Tina Fedeski
In honour of our 10th Anniversary year, and our 10 Leading Notes, here is the fourth of 10 very special stories about the wonderful possibilities that can happen when kids experience the joys and challenges of making music at OrKidstra! Look out for a new story of possibility every month and click here for the previous story.
Marie says “I heard about OrKidstra last spring when they did a presentation at Rideau High School in Vanier – the performance was really beautiful! My son Jaden said to me ‘I would like to do that too – to perform’ and I thought, okay, maybe we will try that.”
“I registered my daughter Micheala  and my son Jaden  – I thought OrKidstra would only work for them – but when I came to OrKidstra’s Vanier Hub, I talked to Madame Tina and she invited my son Alexandre-Medgi  to join the singing group! Alex has cerebral palsy so his physicality is very difficult for him, but he has a very bright mind. Alex was enjoying the singing and was very happy so he said yes! I also sing with KidSingers now to help support Alex and so OrKidstra is now a wonderful activity for the whole family.”
Marie and her three kids joined the OrKidstra family in the fall of 2016 and attend the new Vanier Hub. Marie is originally from Haiti and the family of four speak French, English and Creole together at home – now they also share the joy of the universal language of music!
“I really like that all my kids can be involved in music – to play and to sing – and to have instruction from teachers who are at a high level,” says Marie. “Micheala, Jaden and Alex are all in KidSingers and Micheala and Jaden are both learning trumpet from Ms. Jennifer and Mr. Jon. My goal as a mom is to give them a chance – to play, to learn, to understand and to create something beautiful. Alex is a really good singer – he loves to sing! He always told me he wanted to sing, to be maybe a recording artist someday; KidSingers with Ms. Roxanne is a wonderful opportunity for him to learn how to sing properly – who knows where it will take him in the future! I know that he won’t let his physical challenges stop him.”
Marie, Alex, Jaden and Micheala performing with KidSingers at the 2016 OrKidstra Vanier Hub Holiday Concert – photo by OrKidstra
Marie says “OrKidstra is a very beneficial place for the kids to be after-school – otherwise they just might be watching TV or something, you know? I think OrKidstra is helping my kids to be better at school – to concentrate more and to understand that when you have goals, you have to work hard to achieve them. When you have something that you really enjoy – like music – it helps you to focus and to work hard.”
The thing that Micheala (8) and Alex (13) like best about OrKidstra is the music and Jaden (9) likes making friends. Siblings don’t always agree on everything, but Jaden and Micheala both agree that they like playing their trumpets because they get to have fun working as group (playing with KidPlayers in the Vanier Hub Junior Band) and that playing an instrument is helping them focus. Eight-year-old Micheala says, “I want to be lots of stuff when I grow up – a doctor, a role model, a musician… I think OrKidstra helps me learn to study better.”
Jaden (left) and Micheala (right) playing the trumpet at OrKidstra’s Vanier Hub – photo by OrKidstra
Marie is grateful that the OrKidstra Vanier Hub exists. “If OrKidstra stopped, it would effect my family a lot,” she says. “For now, I can’t really afford music classes for all three of my children. It would be really sad and difficult if OrKidstra closed: it’s something they enjoy, but they are also learning music and important life skills here.”
“We’re looking forward to being a part of OrKidstra next year and each year after! I really want my kids to do the whole OrKidstra program and stay with it until they are 18 so they have the opportunity to learn more. I’d like to say thank you to Madame Tina, the teachers and all the donors for giving all my kids a chance – especially Alex. We always feel welcome at OrKidstra – no judgement – just the opportunity for the kids to participate and to learn, to feel great about themselves and to build self-esteem.”
Jaden, Michaela and Alex say “Merci pour le support!” to everyone who helps to support OrKidstra.