The tsunami that hit Japan last year stunned people around the world, including the 12- and 13-year-old students of Jeff Galindo, a member of The Gathering Christian Reformed Church in Sacramento, Calif.
Students, with director Jeff Galindo, wrote, recorded, and performed their song to raise funds for disaster relief.
Galindo is director of music at Natomas Middle School. When his students struggled to process the event, he suggested that they could write and record a song to raise money.
“I knew there was an opportunity to show them they have power to make a difference and do something. I suggested the idea as a ‘what if,’ and they immediately jumped on board with the idea,” said Galindo.
The timeline was short to capitalize on public awareness of the tragedy. Students completed the song and recording in two weeks.
“Brainstorming lyrics, forming a main idea, [learning] the structure of a song and . . . how to construct melodies [were] daunting for the students. The incredible thing was that they soaked it all in like I’ve never seen before,” said Galindo.
The students held a benefit concert about one month after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in Japan, raising about $1,000 for the Red Cross. Their song also received air time on a local Christian radio station.
The song’s theme is faith, hope, and love, which Galindo admits aren’t topics usually found in middle school curriculum. However, as students brainstormed about things that really matter, they resonated with these ideas.
“It was a great feeling to be able to have a very mature talk about faith and why that is worth writing lyrics about,” said Galindo.