By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dignity and Hope Through Music

José Antonio Abreu at TED
Image via Wikipedia
José Antonio Abreu
It is ironic that, in so many affluent nations in the West, the popular experience of music has become bizarre and often degrading and narcissistic. In contrast, in the developing but oil-rich nation of Venezuela, a musical pioneer has now for decades, along with the assistance of many others, used classical music as a way of bringing order, hope, and discipline to poor, non-elite children in that country. He is still doing so in spite of the country's political and social problems.

That man is José Antonio Abreu, who, in addition, to making a global contribution to classical music through El Sistema, his network of schools for teaching classical music to the poor children of Venezuela, also had a career as an economist and government official. You can view the wonderful story and accompanying video at this New York Times link

I often speak with friends on how to address the social ills of the inner city. Here is one way we can do it. Some are already doing it here in the United States. Training in classical music brings hope and exhilaration to lives that have been surrounded by hopelessness. Everyone benefits, including the audiences; and the audiences include not just those in an auditorium.
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