We are very excited and grateful to be returning to Albania to train and teach passionate musicians! We began our friendship with Albanian musicians in 2009, on our very first trip as Music International, and this will be our third trip. This time, our friend, Arben, has asked for us to help train and teach more musicians in the capital city of Tirane, from June 1 through 3.  Be sure to check back here often, as well as visit our Facebook page for updates! https://www.facebook.com/musicinternational.org/SAM_1112

When I think of all the nations of people around the world that are not allowed to think and function freely, it reminds me of just how large the vision is for Music International.

I envision bringing instruments into places like North Korea, Afghanistan, and Mali. I have seen with my own eyes some of the devastation and depravity that exist in the world, and there is nothing that moves me more than seeing amazingly skilled musicians being forced to go without necessary, good quality instruments.

There is a whole lot wrong with a country that does not allow its people, musicians and otherwise, to freely pursue their dreams.

We are working toward a world where there is provision instead of shortage and practical resources to match the skill that is already in place. Our desire is to bring a little more music into the lives of those who, through no fault of their own, are going without.

405515_10150445108342337_1632853666_nPeter Garrett was the lead singer for the Australian rock band Midnight Oil from 1973 until they disbanded in 2002.

A degree of their material had to do with the displacement of various people groups in Australia. In November 2007, Garrett was appointed the minister for the Environment, Heritage, and the Arts, the Australian equivalent of the U.S. Department of the Interior. When I learned of that, I gained a greater respect for him. Here is someone who not only wrote and sang songs about a conviction of his, but actually stepped out and started making a more significant difference in his own back yard, so to speak. There were also various times during their career that Midnight Oil donated the proceeds of album sales to the betterment of these people groups.

In a similar fashion, we have established Music International because of a conviction-the conviction that there are large numbers of very talented, deserving musicians around the world who need our support. We are continuing our relationship with amazing musicians in India, Albania, and Angola, and have recently received a request on behalf of those in Haiti. There are requests for guitars, guitar strings, tuners, training, and further education. These are the very reason we formed as a 501(c)3 organization.

Thank you to all of you who have supported us this year. Please keep us in your thoughts and stay updated here. Don’t forget that you can donate with the push of a few buttons on our website, www.musicinternational.org. We are looking forward to a great new year!

I wanted to take a minute and let you all know a little bit of my vision for Music International.

10690275_10152436116322337_7892310670840681837_nAfter spending a lot of time in other countries working with musicians who always seemed to lack basic equipment and skills, I decided to try and make a difference in their situations.

It’s my desire to provide whatever equipment and training might be needed by those outside the U.S.

I also desire to involve musicians of every type and every instrument in trips. In the future, I want to be bringing more vocalists, guitarists, and keyboardists with me overseas. Music International’s “maiden voyae”, to Albania, included a singer/guitarist and vocalist who went to work with the music of a pastors conference.

Another specific goal is to involve young people. I cofounded Music International with my niece, Grace, who is a solid musician in her own right. It’s my hope to always have twentysomethings coming with me overseas.

I see Music International as a way to “teach someone how to fish” rather than simply providing an enjoyable musical experience for the moment. In other words, I see great value in not only sharing and performing in concerts, but also in passing on your musical skill and expertise to others.

Jeff Rockwell