AKapella aims to uplift and empower through music.
Our vision is to become a constant partner of individuals and organizations so that we can continuously inspire and empower through music, not only people with illness, but also those who have suffered trauma in their lives.
Vocalist, Voice Coach
Vocalist, Performance Coach
AKapella Music Scholars
OUR PARTNERS & BENEFICIARIES
AKapella is a non-profit organization founded by Alexa Kahn, a Sophomore high school student who
is passionate about music and performing arts.
This is her story...
Alexa believes music has a very powerful healing ability.
She first experienced its power when she was very young. When her grandfather was dying of cancer, it came to a point when he was in so much pain that he could barely open his eyes or talk. Whenever his family visited, they would sing to him his favorite song, “Amazing Grace." Everytime they sang to him, he would hum along and smile.
Another experience of that power was with her godmother, who was also dying of cancer. She asked Alexa to sing to her “The Prayer” because she said it made her feel unafraid to die. Alexa was amazed how a song could make someone feel so empowered.
This is really when the idea for AKapella sparked. These experiences inspired Alexa to make other people feel this way too.
Our AKapella Story
Q&A with AKapella
What is AKapella and what is it trying to do?
AKapella aims to uplift and heal people through music. Music is the soundtrack of our lives and forms experiences, particularly in the Philippines, where sing-a-long is a national past time. Experiences are attached to specific music, such as our first crush, heartbreak, happy occasions with our friends and family, difficult times - these are memories we remember when we hear a particular song. We aim to allow our participants to express themselves through music, to relive happier times in their lives and provide comfort for their pain so that healing can occur. It is a program that shares the power of music with the community.
You recently had an activity with Carewell, one of the largest cancer support networks in the Philippines. Tell us more about this activity.
AKapella had been looking for a partner to support when we came across Carewell. Carewell was a perfect match, as it supported in the same cause as AKapella. The fact that Carewell supported cancer patients which resonated with the AKapella team, as some of their loved ones have suffered from cancer.
How did you prepare for the event (in Carewell)?
Before the event, the AKapella team asked the participants to choose songs that were meaningful to them, or that reminded them of a happy or poignant moment in their lives. In addition, the participants sent pictures of themselves in those moments of happiness.
AKapella then prepared the slideshows, music accompaniments, and recruited volunteer singers. On the day of the event, each participant was asked to share why they chose each song and the memories associated with the songs. Later, they were serenaded while photos of their life flashed overhead in a slideshow.
That must have been very touching for the participants.
Yes, at first we did not know how the event would be received, but the event turned out to be a big success.
One of the participants was Ms. C. She chose the song ‘Beautiful’, which reminded her that no matter what happens, whether she had cancer or no cancer, she is always beautiful on the inside, and that is what counts.
Oscar was another participant, who had lost his wife to cancer. He chose the song ‘Hanggang’ and sang it himself to honor his late wife. As he sang, photos of their life together flashed overhead, starting from before they were married, to the time they got married and their family life after. It was a very touching tribute that allowed him to use the song’s meaningful lyrics to express his feelings exactly.
Tell us about your other activities.
AKapella has also brought a music program to the Jeremiah Foundation, which is a shelter for girls who have been abused. We provide them with weekly voice lessons. Since implementing the music program, the girls have developed their musical talents and have even performed in several of events.
AKapella has also put together a group of music scholars that sing with the AKapella volunteers. They participate in fundraising concerts, Carewell events, and volunteer for the Kythe Foundation. Kythe is an organization that provides psycho-social support for children with cancer. It is perfect for our music scholars since it allows them to give back to children closer to their age who are sick or suffering from trauma. With Kythe, AKapella has gone to PCMC (Philippine Children’s Medical Center) and POC (Philippine Orthopedic Center) and we definitely are planning to go to many other sites. We sing to the kids, play games with them, draw with them, and so much more.
Lastly, AKapella also goes to hospitals to sing to patients in their rooms while they are confined.
What’s next for AKapella?
We are looking forward to more events with Carewell, Kythe, Jeremiah, and other organizations who want to collaborate with us. Recently we were contacted by JCCFC (Jesus Christ Cares for Cancer Inc.) after hearing about the successful AKapella events at Carewell. JCCFC is also a support group for cancer patients and they are inviting AKapella to go to their site to sing to their members. We are also looking to training more music scholars and to recruiting more volunteers so we can reach more people.