Ennio, one of the teachers, talks to the students during one of the classes [Photo Courtesy of the South American Division]

South America

Brothers Volunteer to Teach Music in a Project Supported by FE

The five musicians work with national and international personalities and offer free classes to needy children in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil | Charlise Alves

The weekends gained a new meaning for 40 needy children in the central region of Rio de Janeiro. That's because they now have the opportunity to take music lessons, free of charge, thanks to the Música Esperança project, carried out at the headquarters of Casa Esperança, a ministry supported by the Federation of Adventist Entrepreneurs (FE).

The place helps needy families with bathing, haircuts, medical care, and Bible studies. The headquarters also functions as an Adventist church, called Grupo Esperança.

The initiative began when musician and teacher Gaby Antunes attended, virtually, a service at the Adventist church in Barra da Tijuca. The sermon inspired her to start social work. On the same day, Pastor Jonas Pinho, who had presented the message, spoke with the coordinators of Casa Esperança about Gaby's wish. In this way, the social and cultural project with needy children began.

Even though she resides in New Mexico, United States, Gaby took all measures to make the project viable as quickly as possible. Through the Vocello Music Studio, owned by the teacher, the instruments were purchased, which resulted in the donation of 40 violins and 20 brand new ukuleles to start classes. She confesses her purpose is “to help children get to know Jesus through music. It is a way of remembering the memory of my father, who was a musician, and of my mother”.

Family Passion

Coming from a family of Adventist musicians, Gaby invited her five siblings to help her with her classes. All of them are volunteers: herself, Ênio, Nema, Marly, and Elsaby. The brothers are internationally renowned and work with great musicians and artists in Brazil and abroad.

As soon as Nema returns from a tour of Europe, electric and acoustic bass lessons will begin for the children. For Ênio, it is a great opportunity to exchange knowledge. He teaches but says he also learns a lot from his students. The conductor resides in Vinhedo, in the interior of São Paulo, and goes to the city of Rio de Janeiro every fortnight to teach classes. “We are five children, and through the music and musical style of each one, we are sharing with each other the knowledge we have,” underlines Ênio, trained in violin and conducting at institutions in Brazil and Germany.

The inaugural class, held at Casa Esperança's headquarters, taught basic music concepts to children in a playful way, taught by Ênio. For him, “music works on cognitive, educational, and emotional skills.” And distance did not stop Gaby from teaching. Through digital technology, she teaches ukulele and applied music classes with math and other skills online.

“We are working on the correlation and discovering the concepts of time. We did exercises with rotation on the axis itself and the function of potentiation in music,” she explains. One of the classes was presented by scientist Pnina Miller, who taught lessons pertaining to earthquakes. As a result, the children made a seismograph. The aim is to “teach them to activate critical analytical thinking,” says Gaby.

It's Just the Beginning

Música Esperança is coordinated by Marcello Boggi and has the support of a team to serve children and teenagers from six to fourteen years old, who, in addition to music lessons, also receive lunch and snacks on site. According to Edélcio Luduvice, general coordinator of Casa Esperança, "The objective is to promote the development of children in a playful way, using music as an instrument of integration, socialization, and training, giving them a new meaning in life".

Soon, the project will receive lessons in other musical instruments, such as the recorder, ocarina, electric/acoustic bass, and cello. “The plan is to have an orchestra, God willing,” says Gaby in hopeful expectancy.

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s news site