It is said over and over again: Our youth is the hope for the future.  If this is true, why are so many children left voiceless?  Why are so many children placed in situations that rob them of their youthful years?  After all, our youth will be the ones we look to when we seek change in our world.

Meet Tina Ranoso Bangel, a vocal coach, a singer, the Founder of One Voice School of Singing, and the fierce spirit behind Project Be Heard, a crowdfunding campaign aiming to use the gift of music to look after our children and make it a better place for them to thrive and flourish.  Tina started singing at the age of 19 and found it to be a fun way to earn extra pocket money.  Soon enough she found herself enrolling in the Australian Institute of Music and later majoring in contemporary voice studies.  Her vocal abilities and love for music gave this shy girl a voice, a way to be heard and a way to be confident.

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Tina’s vocal abilities have allowed her to travel throughout the world, to perform with world-class musicians and to use music to unlock the magic buried deep within our children.  As a child, Tina found it hard to communicate her feelings and because of this, she didn’t speak much, she was a shy girl.  Because of this adversity and struggle in her youthful days, she started One Voice School of Singing.  A program that combines music and movement for babies, toddlers and children.

“Children thrive on music.  It’s one of the best vehicles for learning in early childhood development.”

Tina’s passion for music and teaching our youth isn’t just a career that aims to teach children how to use their voice to be heard, instead, it’s a about having an outlet to fully express oneself.

“I have seen babies as young as 6 months’ express empathy through their facial expression when they hear a song in a minor key or a sad tone.”

Often, when we think of music we may think of the hits that are playing on the radio or our favorite band that we grew up listening to.  But music is known as a Universal Language.

“The first form of music we hear is our mother’s heartbeat.  It’s steady and never changing.  Just like the beat of the drum.  There is nothing better than to sing within a choir or community.  Even till this day my heart beams when I hear the congregation sing at church.  There is something primal about music.  It bonds us.  It is the universal language.”

Music is a way to connect with others, a way to express ourselves, and most importantly a way to deal with emotions.   As Tina mentioned, “Music has been the around since the beginning of time.  We create music to communicate feelings and stories that can tell us what has happened in the world, what has happened to us in the past, what is happening in the now and what we hope to happen in the future.  We are all connected to those feelings and it moves us to empathize and relate, no matter the language.”

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“Children are our greatest treasure.  They are our future.” -Nelson Mandela

Whether we believe it or not, our children learn about feelings from an early age.  Children mirror the emotions they see their parents expressing.  For many children around the world they lack the proper support system to fully express themselves.

Many of us were fortunate to grow up in a quote-on-quote healthy home.  However, there are children around the world or even in our neighborhoods that aren’t so fortunate.  We can read about abuse, neglect and mistreatment of our youth in our local newspapers and global news sources.

So how do we start addressing the unjust and unfortunate circumstances many youth face on a daily basis?

It can be quite simple:  Give our youth the ability to Be Heard.

By giving children a voice, a way to express themselves, they can communicate the struggles they face.  They can communicate the emotions they have buried within them.  They can claim and own their own power from an early age.

When children are held back from expressing themselves it can show up later in their lives with struggles with drug and substance abuse, broken relationships, difficulties assimilating with societal norms or even mental illness.

By teaching our youth at an early age that personal expression is not only cherished but welcomed, we can begin to make the world a better place to live in, as Tina said.  “Helping one child can have a ripple effect into their family life and community.”

Which is why Project Be Heard is important to Tina.  “Project Be Heard aims to bring awareness that music can be a powerful tool to help change children’s lives.”  This project aims to inspire more children to not be afraid in expressing themselves.  To literally have the ability to sing out, to Be Heard.

“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.”

– David Augsburger

We are the keepers of our youth, we are responsible for allowing them the personal freedom to Be Heard, to be seen and to be loved.  If you know a child that is struggling with personal expression, give them the gift of being heard in their own magical way.

For inspiring resources for our youth, please reach out to Tina by using the links below:

Project Be Heard

One Voice School of Singing

KidsXpress

You can also connect with Tina on Facebook and her personal website.