Playing for children in Lisbon!
I would like to write about a remarquable project that has impressed and inspired us and that is worth to spread the word about!
Future through music...
Similar than the famous Venezuela children orchestra, this project initiated by the Portugal government makes it possible for under privileged children to learn an instrument and play in an orchestra from the first lesson on! These children have a difficult background, some of them don't have parents, some of them are hidden from their (sometimes criminal) parents and raised in children's homes and wouldn't normally have fair conditions in education compared to children of the same age. But music makes it possible for them to have a better life!! In this school, they learn every day about music and about life. And they have five teachers, each for every instrument, all of them highly qualified and experienced musicians, also teaching regular students in conservatories! About 20 children meet every day after school in an old building with their instruments to have lessons, orchestra and chamber music rehearsals the whole afternoon. They have group lessons and private sessions, orchestra training, and in their breaks between, they play football in the stony backyard...
The purest music!
We arrived in the late afternoon to play a concert for the children and spent some time with them after the concert, playing with them and giving them advices. It was so fullfilling for us to see the enthousiasme and fun they had listening and playing! Their eyes were shining with joy and although of course it wasn't the finest playing - the they had a long way to go with practicing , technique and perfection - their playing was so pure and innocent! Somehow music should always be like this!! They played for us a Portuguese children song in a special arrangement with singing, clapping and playing.
The youngest girl is three and the oldest around 12, playing voices according to their capacities, and they help each other and become like a musical family by the time. It was curious to see that even in the orchestra break (when the teachers offered chocolate Santa Claus for everybody), a few of them stayed with their instruments completely absorbed in thoughts and
music, trying to find a good sound or training a difficult part of their part. After the session, some of the kids wrote and drawed something in our tour book, very colorful and very creative. For my taste, this is the most beautiful page of our book!!