How we learn: Classical music, Capoeira and community development

… the “National Network of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela”, which has managed, over its 35 year history, to get a musical instrument into the hands of as many street urchins as possible, (currently they cater for a quarter of a million children), not with the goal of creating a mob of “brattish elitists”, but solely to give these children a chance to survive at all, with the social team skills an orchestra can provide, with the rewards of physical and emotional endeavour and the enormous sense of purpose and self respect that just the few repeated neuronal ski-runs, necessary to start to play an instrument, can readily provide. Continue reading

What’s the problem in admiting that we’re (re)creating Capoeira as we go along?!

Lately I’ve been listening to Caymmi, Tom Jobim and Vinícius a lot. Probably because I’m often home-sick and these composers are well known for their ability of capturing Brazil with all its idiosyncrasies, characters, rhythm, history and stories… in their songs.  Their songs translate into beautiful lyrics and melodies the extraordinary daily culture of ordinary people. Continue reading