Newcomer youth showcase musical talents

The MOSAIC Settlement and Integration Program (SIP) held a summer musical program for newcomer youth to explore their creativity, develop teamwork skills, and also to  explore their journey as newcomers to Canada.The program was led by Lillian Leung, a Social Work practicum student on exchange from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, with a group of seven youths aged 15–24 who participated in five sessions of intensive piano skills training. “Only one of the youth had some experience playing the piano; everyone else was starting from scratch. After just five sessions, they were able to play songs, like Disney’s I Can Show You The World. The parents, who came to the mini concert at the end of the program, really noticed a remarkable difference,” said Angel Tse, the settlement worker who was assisting with the program.Besides the piano training, each session also featured various exercises which provided opportunities for youth to understand their own strengths, practice English, develop communication skills and  increase their overall levels of confidence. As the youth came to know each other better, they were able to build friendships and share personal real-life experiences about being a newcomer to Canada. They were able to weave together a narrative and included music in the play they produced. One of the main themes of the play ‘getting lost and finding your way again’ encapsulates their own experiences and is what many settlement community connections activities are about: finding your way again by reaching out to the community, and building new friendships.