‘Determination’ of Ukrainian youngsters he taught in Lviv is praised by the musician

‘Determination’ of Ukrainian youngsters he taught in Lviv is praised by the musician

A British musician who traveled to Lviv to teach displaced Ukrainian teenagers at a summer school has commended their determination to learn despite the ongoing war. Ashley Valentine, residing in East Dulwich, London, spent five days teaching piano to 15 to 20 displaced teenagers aged 13 to 18 in Lviv. The initiative was carried out in collaboration with the not-for-profit organization Make It Possible Ukraine.

Valentine rented a music studio on the city’s outskirts for the lessons. During the first class, he encountered teenagers who had never played the piano before, teaching them simple pieces that brought smiles and laughter. Other students, despite not having played in two years, tackled advanced compositions by Franz Schubert. Valentine provided guidance and support throughout the process.

He exceeded his fundraising goal of £200 through a Crowdfunding campaign, raising over £1,200. The excess funds were directed to support the not-for-profit’s projects. The students were excited to receive the music books, which helped nurture their musical interests. Valentine tailored his lessons based on the students’ levels and preferences, even introducing them to movie themes and folk songs.

The week concluded with a concert at the Lviv Organ Hall, where Valentine performed and received a standing ovation from his students and volunteers. Among his memories was a connection with a student named Vitalina and her grandmother Rudenko, who bonded with him through their shared love for music. The trip’s inspiration stemmed from Valentine’s experience teaching Ukrainian refugees in the UK, prompting him to provide a musical distraction for those affected by the ongoing war.

While in Lviv, Valentine also participated in the work of charity Frontline Kitchen, helping prepare meals for soldiers on the front lines. Despite the challenges posed by the war, Valentine was touched by the kindness and resilience of the Ukrainian people.