ABQ youth chorus offers unique approach to music, learning

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Music can have a positive impact on your mental health and a choir group in the metro is using that to help the youth in our community.

The El Faro Youth Chorus works with kids, ages 7 to 18, to teach them a variety of music styles, even learning to sing in different languages. Their style is a unique, trauma-informed approach that makes it a source of relief.

“In a traditional classroom environment, the idea would be, if someone misbehaves, you would say ‘Knock that off, stop it,’ and the trauma-informed perspective asks us to dig a little deeper and ask a few more questions about where that behavior comes from, so rather than what’s wrong with you, we ask what happened to you,” said Gabrielle Dietrich, the conductor of the El Faro Youth Chorus.

The goal is to create an overall positive learning environment through music in a safe space for everyone involved. The El Faro Youth Chorus is an outreach program of the nonprofit choir Coro Lux but you don’t have to be a trained singer to join.

“If you think that you can’t do music, I beg to differ and whoever told you that a long time ago was wrong,” said Bradley Ellingboe, the found of Coro Lux. “Everyone can be involved in some way, even if it’s just tapping your foot.”

The El Faro Youth Chorus rehearses Thursday afternoons at St. Paul Lutheran Church. If you’re interested in learning more, please email El Faro‘s conductor, Gabrielle Dietrich, at gdietrich227@gmail.com.