The guitar workshop at Hogar Irekani is a time where the teens and children develop their musical talents. Students learn the use of this instrument in both popular and classical music. They develop self discipline, learn to read music, and perform as a guitar ensemble. Our objective is to reinforce companionship and self discipline, to further develop intellectual skills, and to enjoy the magical experience of living the music. In addition to rehearsal time, beautiful acoustic guitar music can often be heard throughout the Hogar. They have performed many concerts in the Morelia area.
Etienne Rojas, a graduate of the Conservatory of Rosas and instructor at Tech de Monterrey, teaches our guitar students. Etienne has worked with many of them for several years and helped to found the Hogar Irekani. His joy and love of guitar, his enthusiasm for music, and his love of his students have made him an important part of Irekani.
The piano program truly shows what can happen through collaboration. It is the brainchild of Phil Michael, a choir director and kindergarten teacher in Detroit for many years, who now shares his musical talents as a piano instructor at Irekani. He collaborates with a Facebook buddy he's never met who works at a music store in Colorado and sends us music. Also a musician friend and colleague in Michigan has donated a lovely Yamaha digital piano to enhance the program with private piano lessons. Presently there are seven students in the program, and three of them have also been learning to play soprano and alto recorders. These students have participated in several concerts, not only playing solo pieces but also performing duets and trios with their teacher and each other. They have also played in collaboration with the singers and guitar players at the casa, performing special arrangements written by their teacher. Phil Michael’s support touches us in many ways. He is always looking out for the children and teens, always thinking of new ways to help them.
Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. (Psalm 82:3 NIV).
Joyeria de Irekani (Jewelry of Irekani) began as a means to help the children and teens learn about their heritage as well as how to operate a business. They first learned how to make jewelry in the traditional style of the Huichol Indians. This involves intricate beading in beautiful and elaborate floral and geometric shapes. Using these skills, they are now branching into other styles of jewelry. All pieces require patience, skill, and an artistic eye. Many of our teens and several volunteers have taken part in this project. All of our necklaces, bracelets, and earrings are available for purchase and all of the profits go directly to Irekani. The jewelry has been shown at several locations in Morelia and has received high praise. If you would like to make a purchase, please contact us. We will be happy to show you our pieces or custom design jewelry for you.
Nick, our instructor, studied Educational Psychology at IMCED, the Michoacan Institute for Educational Sciences. He developed his jewelry making skills as a tool to work with his patients. His teaching approach combines therapy, counseling, the arts, and business skills as a means of developing self esteem.
Every weekend, teens and children participate in painting, drawing, and photography workshops. There they learn composition, color theory, the history of art, and technical skills. The students love the freedom to express themselves through paint and pencil. They are even enjoying trying their hand at Manga cartoons. The majority of our teens and children have chosen to participate, and several have shown exceptional talent. An exhibition of the students’ work showed at the State Museum of Michoacan! At our anniversary celebration in July of 2014, each participant offered one work in a silent auction. Every piece sold!
Carlos, our lead instructor, began this program as a way to fulfill his social service commitment. (This is a requirement for graduation and licensure with a bachelor degree from a public university in Mexico. It is a way to give back to their community for having received an inexpensive college education. Students may be required to volunteer from six months to several years as part of this program.) Carlos loved working at Irekani so much that he has continued after completing his social service. Now he has been joined by Alejandra. Together they direct the classes. He is dedicated to seeing this program continue.
One of our initial goals in founding Hogar Irekani was to offer English classes as a way to better prepare our charges to succeed in this global economy. We realized this goal in July 2014, our one year anniversary. The English classes at Hogar Irekani are given in a dynamic way by using activities and games to create an inspiring context for learning. The games help students practice the second language in a way that they enjoy. There's a constant motivation during lessons to keep students' interest. The activities are planned according to the ages, likes, characteristics and needs of each student. The main goal is to develop the communicative competence as well as the collaborative work ethic of the students. Recently several native English speakers visited the class to help the students practice. They were very impressed by the knowledge and enthusiasm of the students. Carlos Segura instructs the English class. Carlos holds degrees from both IMCED as and CCL. He completed the Teacher Training Course at CCL. At IMCED, he studied teaching pedagogy with a specialty in teaching English as a foreign language. He has received the Cambridge certifications of the TKT (Teacher Knowledge Test) as well as the TOEFL (Teachers of English as a Foreign Language). Because he loves his subject and his students, his success rate as a teacher is high.
Depending on the interests of the teens and children, we offer a variety of programs within Hogar Irekani. All supplies, labor, and needs of the programs are provided by our sponsors and volunteers. If you would like to donate to help our programs, please contact us.
This program started at the initiative of Elizabeth (Lili) Martínez and our director Sandra Martínez to develop the talent of the children and teens. Beginning in August 2014 with a group of 11 boys and girls, the choir has rehearsed 3 hours a week, two days a week. Their repertoire covers international to contemporary, popular and traditional Mexican, and many other musical styles. They have performed at the ex-convent of Tiripetío, the State Museum, and the Casa de Morelos. Last Christmas they gave many concerts throughout Morelia. The Irekani choir is an honor and a pleasure to hear.
Currently Lili Martinez is a choral conducting student at the Bellas Artes, the fine arts school of UMSNH. We appreciate her love of music and her dedication to Irekani.