El Salvador youth use music to make change

El Salvador youth use music to make change

music has a positive community impact

Amid gang violence and poverty in the outskirts of San Salvador is a facility called “Instituto Técnico Obrero Empresarial Don Bosco.” This school aims to protect, support, and help keep young people off the streets and away from gang violence. It currently serves as a boarding school for more than 108 students, many of whom may not have parents or have troubled home lives. The school is also open as a day school for more than 320 students who can commute. Daniel Ayala, a music teacher at the Don Bosco school, states: “With this music project, the young people who had problems with justice, and had an aggressive attitude have changed their behavior. They have become calm.”

Last August, the school launched the classical music program called La Orquesta Sinfonica Juvenil de Don Bosco (Addressing Youth Violence through Cultural and Music Learning). “To learn music one needs discipline, dedication, and perseverance. If I can do this with music, I can do this in every aspect of my life,” explains Jorge Daniel, the group’s flute player.

The Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil has now worked with more than 100 young people from the school.  To expand the music program, the orquestra also visits neighboring schools in a van known as the “SINFOMOVIL”- the mobile orchestra. Further aims of this programme is to eradicate poverty and to formalise and structure a music programme that will enhance the art of music, not only in the country, but also around the world.

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