Alexa Rose Yeo, 10, of Goderich, Ont., was halfway through preparing her own composition for the 2020 Kiwanis Music Festival when the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the festival in mid-March.
Yeo said she wanted to finish the song and she began to think of how she could use music to thank essential workers.
“My mom showed me videos of doctors and nurses working in China and Italy to help fight COVID-19 and she told me that Canada was preparing for the virus to come here,” Yeo told Global News.
“So I decided to finish writing the song and dedicate it to front-line and essential workers and I want to let other kids say thanks too.”
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Once the song — named “Light in the Darkness” — was complete, Yeo says her mother Crystal Brennan-Yeo took to Facebook to ask for “thank you” messages from other kids to be included in a video.
“Videos started coming in like right away. My mom taught me how to edit on iMovie so I spent about three hours editing,” Yeo explained.
“Even though kids are young, we still understand how scary it is to be working during this difficult time with the virus.”
Posted on Alexa’s The Hometown Harpist Facebook page on March 23, Brennan-Yeo says the video had over 13,000 views as of April 28.
“It was so exciting too when the video was put out and Alexa was like, ‘oh my gosh, we reached 20 views!’ She’s now, like, we’re just over the moon that it’s had over 13,000 views,” Brennan-Yeo told Global News.
“Recently she was contacted by a kindergarten teacher who wanted to use the video in her lessons for Superhero Day,” she added.
“There’s like seven kindergarten teachers and so the message would go out to all of the children so that they could make signs to acknowledge front-line workers. In response, Alexa’s recorded this personal message to all of the children inviting them to be heroes themselves by staying at home, washing their hands, listening to parents and caregivers.
“She even explained to them that even though they are kids, that they have a voice and they should use it to do good in the world.”
Yeo first became interested in the harp after attending the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival with her mother and has been playing the harp for six years.
Her mother also found herself enamored with the instrument and also takes lessons, including monthly group lessons with other adults.
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