Note Away: Giving Back the Smile Through Music

Note Away, a wind-instrument band composed of engineering students from France, went to the Philippines for a cause—to immerse children in the world of music. The group has been travelling to different countries for this cause. The Philippines is the second country they are visiting. They have chosen to volunteer their time to Virlanie to achieve their goal.

For almost a month, Note Away members visited Virlanie Homes and conducted workshops focusing on rhythm, dancing and singing with the children. They also went with the Mobile Unit, Virlanie’s street-based education and health program in poor communities in Manila. They inserted their music lessons on the ongoing learning sessions of the Mobile Unit for 50 children in Tondo, Manila.


For Note Away members, the experience of teaching street children in the Virlanie Homes and in the poor communities in Manila was unforgettable. Julien, one of their members said, “It was very different from our experience in Peru. The street children here are more eager to learn and very grateful to us. We can feel that they really appreciate what we do for them.”


Note Away members divided the 50 children of the Mobile Unit according to age. Since only a few children speak English, the teachers from the Mobile Unit assisted them in teaching the kids. The kids were given 6 sessions where they were taught how to play different instruments such as drums, tambourine, and trumpet. The last session was a mini concert that the group organized to showcase what the children learned to their families. The parents of the child performers enthusiastically cheered for their children.

Marilyn, mother to one of the children that the band taught said that her child was very excited every time the Mobile Unit goes to their place. Marilyn and her family just transferred to Tondo from Caloocan City, Manila. “I wish there was a Mobile Unit in our place. The children would have been very happy,” she added.

The children who performed at the concert were proud that they were able to put up a show. They were also happy to learn new things. Toni Rose, one of the children they taught mentioned, “The music lesson with them is enjoyable.” She also said that the music lesson is a good avenue for her and her friends to bond.

Note Away members worked as trainee engineers and played music in different events to raise money. The fund that they raised was used in going to countries to teach music to children.

Learn more about the brass band: Note Away Tumblr