Who We Are
Rhythm Changes empowers communities through music. We take the time to understand political, economic, and cultural issues at the heart of social problems, and work to help those in need of change at their level. Music transcends the language barrier, opening doors for relationships to begin. People from completely different worlds form connections, and through those connections change happens. Whether we are teaching emergency medicine training programs to adults, or basic mathematics to children, our goal is the same. We help people realize their own potential and elevate the standards set by the world today.
Our current focus is in Cap Haitian, Haiti. Cap Haitian is the second largest city on the island of Haiti, with about 190,000 residents. Formed in 1711, Cap Haitian was the city’s capital until 1770 (Port Au Prince is the current capital). 70% of Haiti is unemployed, most people do not eat every day, and do not have access to clean water.
Rhythm Changes got its start off the corner of St. Philomene Street, Cap Haitian, in November 2016. After a massive storm system canceled schools in Haiti, a group of American music teachers – Glen Willet, Joe Zellers, and Brandon Dull – decided to teach what they knew – music – to 40 students. It became a 3-day workshop with students from 10- 60 years of age. This workshop became a beacon of light in a world of darkness. With devastating water rushing through the streets, destroying homes and personal property, music was also flooding the neighborhood, and the students wanted more. Through these lessons, the students escaped the destruction taking place outside and found peace for a few moments.
This idea is the fuel for Rhythm Changes music and educational programs. Since the momentum of the first workshop, we have held several more, focusing on different areas of study. Rhythm Changes has provided beginner and advanced music workshops by partnering with Jose Michel, and the music school he runs in Cap Haitian. Rhythm Changes has also started a basic emergency medical training program with local hospitals in Cap Haitian. We are sponsoring qualified students to attend college and hiring teachers in Haiti. We have also started to teach Emergency Medical Training, are working with young entrepreneurs within the surrounding community to help develop a local economy, and strive to end hunger by providing food and clean water to students and faculty. Rhythm Changes is about real change for tomorrow. Change isn’t clean and easy, it’s frustrating and tedious. It doesn’t happen overnight, and one donation isn’t going to change the world, but the payoff is worth a lifetime.
You may be asking yourself, “So what can I do?” Service and donations come in many forms. Everyone has a hidden talent or skill that may benefit another person. From volunteering time to physical gifts, to building a friendship with a person in need. The hardest part is taking the first step. If Rhythm Changes is something you can get behind, please contact us. We are looking for open-minded ambitious people can let the music of today to transform someone’s tomorrow.