The One Dollar for Music Initiative Helps Uplift Communities in Bali

Our Bali Heroes | Written By, Life on the Island |

Some may see music as mere entertainment, but music does more than entertain; it’s a powerful driving force especially for the youth. Here on the island, One Dollar For Music (ODFM), a non-profit organisation, helps youngsters develop their talents and preserve their culture.

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In Bali, and Indonesia in general, young people are well aware of the successes in other countries, but are often insufficiently aware of their own talents and qualities. They experience an inner conflict caused by the reality of their own lives against the “successful” outside world. The emergence of the internet, social media, and encounters with tourists has only reinforced this phenomenon. The government’s education department mainly promotes subjects such as math and English, and school directors are often concerned that students who make music also get in touch with drugs and alcohol.

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And in areas where tourism is the main source of income such as Bali, musicians are expected to play western mainstream and evergreens. This way, authentic musical, creative, and artistic processes are being suppressed and unnoticed; and in combination with a shortage of facilities and guidance, young talents remain hidden. This is where ODFM steps in.

ODFM was founded in 2007 and since 2008, the initiative has carried out various projects in which, so far, over 5,000 young people have participated. ODFM invests in sustainable creativity. On the road to future opportunities and in addition to basic needs, young people primarily need self-esteem, acknowledgement, and a safe environment where they can develop. Participating in creative activities helps the youngsters develop self-confidence mentally, emotionally, and socially. It’s for this reason that ODFM sees that investing in long-term programs and capacity building is needed, so that the importance of creative development will become a sustainable matter in the society.

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ODFM allows anyone to attend the intensive basic training in music and music coaching. The organisation has people who coach and develop workshops for young people. Composing, arranging, sound engineering, band coaching and communication with young people are the main topics of this training. Music coaches with enough music experience can grow into a role as a trainer, manager, and project coordinator.

In each of target areas, ODFM recruits unemployed musicians – usually those between the age of 18 to 25. The candidates are invited to a musical audition and interview, and the selected musicians undergo intensive training in music coaching and youth leadership. After the training the candidates do an internship for a period of three to six months at one or more locations of ODFM’s partner organisations. During this stage, the music coaches are supervised by senior trainers. At the end of the internship a possible continuation of the activities will be discussed with the local partners. In many cases this leads to a job for a music coach at one or more partner locations.

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ODFM regularly organises meetings, seminars, and conferences for teachers, school directors, and managers of local youth associations and NGOs.

One Dollar For Music (Yayasan Seni Sana Sini)
A : Jalan Tukad Jinah 27A, Denpasar
T : +62 361 474 3253
W :



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