‘Symphony for Peru’: Educating Children Through Music


Children of Symphony for Peru in concert. Photo: Flickr / Miraflores City Hall (CC BY 2.0).

Renowned Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez heads an organization called Symphony for Peru, inspired by the National Network of Youth and Children Orchestras of Venezuela. The group provides musical training disadvantaged children.

Flórez's organization has been active for five years already, and the results so far have been positive. According to a report by Peru's Bureau of Studies for Development, “participants develop a higher self-esteem, greater tenacity to achieve goals, increased creativity and better ways of living together in society.”

Writing for En busca del milagro peruano (Pursuing the Peruvian Miracle), Pablo Macalupú-Cumpén says Symphony for Peru uses music to foster values that last a lifetime:

[Sinfonía por el Perú] formar con todo el rigor posible a cientos (quizá ya sean miles) de niños en todo el país, y la mejor manera de hacerlo es con música, porque la música, como dijo el psiquiatra inglés Anthony Storr, tiene la capacidad de transformar nuestra existencia por completo.

[Symphony for Peru] intervenes and reforms children as rigorously as possible—hundreds (maybe even thousands already) of children nationwide, and the best way to do it is with music, because music, as English psychiatrist Anthony Storr said, has the capacity to transform our existence completely.

There are currently about 800 children participating in Symphony for Peru. They come from four different areas of the country, according to Development Effectiveness Overview (an annual report produced by the Inter-American Development Bank to show the results and impact of its work):

The project established four musical centers in four very different areas in Peru: the marginalized, urban ghettos of Trujillo (coastal), Huancayo (mountain), Huánuco (rainforest), and Manchay-Lima (desert). Each center brings music to almost 200 children and adolescents living at or below the poverty level. […] The setting of the program helps children build their self-esteem, encourages them to have goals in life and to achieve those goals, promotes improved school performance, strengthens family ties, and facilitates positive involvement in their community.

Twitter users have also been busy discussing and even promoting the planned activities of Symphony for Peru:

Call for Symphony for Peru – Huanuco Core Group.

Talento from Peru! “El Cóndor Pasa” performed by Symphony for Peru.

Symphony for Peru: the power of music that generates sustained development.

Symphony for Peru – Trujillo Core Group at the Cultural Center.

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