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Wed Jun 26, 2013, 08:32 PM

Classical music inspires social change for at-risk children in Bolivia

Classical music inspires social change for at-risk children in Bolivia
Reuters
17:41

June 26 - An ambitious classical music program in Bolivia inspires at-risk children to dream of a better future through the sounds of Vivaldi and Verdi. Sharon Reich reports. ( Transcript )

TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE He looks like a natural, but for 16-year-old Rudolph Gabriel Bilbao, learning to play the violin is more than a hobby - it's an instrument of change. Bilbao is one of 100 students in Bolivia that are training to become classical musicians as a way to stay out of trouble and avoid a life of crime and gang violence. The program put together by the Classic Bolivia Foundation hopes to transform the lives of at-risk youth in some of the country's poorest areas. SOUNDBITE: Violin student Rudolph Gabriel Bilbao saying (Spanish): "For me, the learning program is a door to get out there and progress. Now Classic Bolivia (Foundation) means everything to me." A registered charity in the United Kingdom, the Classic Bolivia Foundation, is hitting all the right notes with internationally renowned musicians like Japanese violinist Ken Aiso. He's one of a dozen whom are spending weeks at a time in Bolivia in order to teach students everything from technique to interpretation. The biggest challenge for Aiso - instilling confidence in his students. SOUNDBITE: Violinist Ken Aiso saying (English): "Many of the children seem to be timid and have very slow emotions; afraid to open up their inner feelings through the physical playing of an instrument. This is both a mental and physical phenomenon I think." The music program kicked off two years ago and since, officials say the initiative is having a positive impact on the lives of students - boosting their self esteem and providing them with a chance to start their adult lives on the right note.

Video at link:
http://www.reuters.com/video/2013/06/26/classical-music-inspires-social-change-f?rpc=401&videoId=243598898&feedType=VideoRSS&feedName=OddlyEnough&rpc=401&videoChannel=4

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