SOME children need a sense of belonging, others need something to eat or wear, while some just need some extra help to master a certain skill.
These are only some of the opportunities offered by a local music school, Pandora’s Musical Box, situated in Gelvandale and now also in Schauderville.
This organisation not only offers music lessons but is also involved in various community projects such as the Cupboard of Grace, whereby they help people in need.
They also offer a nutritional kitchen and help with youth development, life skills training and additional mathematics classes.
Project manager and piano tutor, Verrick Erasmus, said that the inspiration behind Pandora’s Musical Box was the children in their area and the lack of interest in social development in the country, as well as the lack of provision for social needs in the area.
“We opened on January 17, 2010; however, we celebrated our 10th anniversary this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What brought the idea about was that there were too many children running around and not being disciplined and there were very few people offering music lessons at an affordable price at that time,” Erasmus explained.
“We offer music, social responsibility, groom-a-child, the occasional mathematics classes and also a Cupboard of Grace. Some students use music as a subject at school and they come to us for extra help,” he added.
“People should have somewhere to go for assistance, for something to eat and there is a lack of employment. People should feel free to come to us when they have challenges. For this reason, we have opened the Cupboard of Grace as it is there to assist those in need.”
He added that anyone from anywhere in the metro can join. Children must at least be five years old to start music lessons.
He mentioned that although the music students need to pay a minimum membership fee according to the household income in order to cover the stipend for tutors and other expenses, those in need of the Cupboard of Grace and families that receive food parcels and meals, do not pay any fees.
At the moment, Pandora’s Musical Box has four tutors: Erasmus (piano), Elviro Vrolik (guitar and bass guitar), Lance Alley (violin) and Bradley Felkers (saxophone, silver Flute and piano).
They are also planning on opening another branch, this time in Kariega, during the first week of November.
“This will mean growth for the organisation and furthermore, it will establish ourselves even more in the metro, but most of all, we will be able to reach out to more children and families,” Erasmus said.
Pandora’s Musical Box can be contacted on 041 457 1696. More information is also available on Facebook and Instagram.