Eastern Iowans are hearing this week from the founder of a relief organization who’s using music to teach kids in war-ravaged Kosovo how to express themselves and gain confidence. Music teacher, composer and California native Liz Shropshire went to Kosovo in 1999 on what was supposed to be a four-week humanitarian mission to distribute harmonicas and penny whistles and teach the kids to play them. She says the penny whistles are particularly popular with the youngsters and she chose them because it’s easy to teach kids how to use them.Shropshire says the children pleaded with her to stay and she ended up devoting her life to the project. She decided to continue living there and founded the non-profit Kosovo Children’s Music Initiative. It’s provided free instruments, instruction and performances for more than three-thousand children since 1999. She says the music program helps children feel like they have control over something.She’s taken a few weeks to fundraise in the U-S so the program can continue. She’s making appearances this week in Muscatine, Davenport and Iowa City. For information, surf the Internet to “www.teachingchildrenpeace.com”.
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