Music program aims to fine-tune youths’ well-being in Pangnirtung
Perfecting Your Perfect makes a personal violin donation and music education to student and Attagoyuk Ilisavik High School
The hamlet of Pangnirtung is championing a new music-based healing program for local youth.
Launched by Iqaluit-based violinist Tristan Alexander in May, Perfecting Your Perfect aims to provide young people across Nunavut the opportunity to participate in music workshops and other arts programs to support their mental and physical health and well-being.
Alexander said he started the initiative to give back to Nunavut. He contacted several communities, and Pangnirtung was one of the first to respond so the program will start there.
He said Mayor Eric Lawlor helped the program get funding from the Government of Nunavut. Attagoyuk Ilisavik High School is providing space and support for free music lessons for all students, and Perfecting Your Perfect donated one of the violins for students to learn on.
All that helped Perfecting Your Perfect launch its first online workshop program, which will be held over 12 weeks this summer.
The introduction to strings workshop is for Nunavummiut youth between grades six to 12 “who hope to start a journey of healing with music education,” Alexander said.
Students will receive private violin lessons online with internationally trained musicians while acquiring technical skills for personal and community mental wellness. As of Wednesday, seven of the eight spots had been filled.
For Alexander, connecting young people in Nunavut to trained musicians in other parts of the world is an opportunity to help them with their healing journey and improve their overall wellness.
“I want to bless local youth in the same way that I have been blessed to meet people that believe in me,” he said.
“You never know which child is going to bloom into a musician, so it’s about creating an avenue for kids to have a voice.”
Alexander was raised in the United States and attended the Manhattan School of Music in New York and studied applied violin performance at the Harlem School of the Arts.
He moved to Iqaluit about six months ago. A registered dental hygienist, he wanted to continue playing the violin while creating programming for youth.
In the long run, he said he hopes to create space and opportunity for more young people to learn various art forms beyond music.
“[Perfecting Your Perfect] hopes to create space for after-school programs, programs at daycares and youth co-op centres where children can practise and take music lessons,” he said.
“The goal is to foster youth into musicians so that they can perform on the largest scale, whether or not they choose to expand their art form locally or in the international community.
“And we will also extend our branches into different forms of arts,” Alexander added.
“It’s painting, physical activities, music engineering — it does not specifically have to be music, per se.”
To thank Pangnirtung residents for their support, Alexander will perform in the community June 25 at Attagoyuk Ilisavik. He will play excerpts from his Tribute to Rihanna Concert, music inspired by his home country of Barbados.