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Listen To This cover photo

Listen To This 2010

Recommended

Distributed by Proximity Films, 229 Booth Ave., Toronto, ON, Canada, M4M 2M7; 416-469-4567
Produced by Juan Baquero
Directed by Juan Baquero
DVD, color, 88 min.



Sr. High - Adult
Canadian Studies, Education, Music, Urban Studies

Date Entered: 04/22/2011

Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

When Nigerian-born Thompson T. Egbo-Egbo came to Canada as a young child he, like many newly-arrived immigrants in Toronto, lived in low-income inner city housing. He had to overcome many of the same socioeconomic and cultural challenges the children in this documentary also face. Now a world-class jazz pianist who benefited from government-subsidized music lessons, he established an arts foundation with the purpose of giving back to his community and encouraging young children to learn to express themselves through music.

During the 2008 school year, Colombian filmmaker Juan Baquero followed three elementary school students who participated in Egbo-Ebgo’s >em>Evolving Through the Arts songwriting and performing workshop. From initial wariness about the project to growing confidence and enthusiasm, the students learn the basics of rhythm and song structure and end the year with a joyful concert for other classmates and families. In the process of teaching the children about music, the workshop instructors also learn more about the difficult daily lives of the children, who are surrounded by violence and poverty.

In an economic climate that is forcing the termination of many programs of this kind, this inspirational film quietly demonstrates the value of arts education and how the interest, encouragement and support of dedicated professionals can have a positive impact on the life of a young child and society as a whole. Bonus features include a promotional trailer for the film and a short music video of one of the songs featured in the film. The film was an official selection in the HotDocs film festival for 2010. Recommended.