In partnership with the Ciranda Institute, we brought about 20 young musicians out to our field base (PCER) for three days to better get to know this important part of their region and to take inspiration from the sounds of nature to create new pieces of music. Each musician picked out a bird, recorded its sound, transcribed the sound in musical notation, then worked to write something new inspired by these sounds. Throughout the project we also taught about the ecology of the Pantanal, the conservation challenges it faces, and details about the specific birds used for inspiration.
In the months since this project we've been working together with the Ciranda institute to combine many of the short compositions into one complete piece of music. The Orquestra Sinfonica Ciranda Mundo plans to perform this piece in Cuiaba in 2018 as a multimedia experience with photos and video from their time in the Pantanal. In the future we hope to repeat this project on a larger scale and in other ecologically important regions of Brazil as well.
For the past year the Juara Foundation has partnered with the Ciranda Institute, a state-wide youth music program in Mato Grosso, to provide regular year-round music lessons to the children at the Nazaré orphanage in Poconé. Starting October 2016, we've moved into a larger space at the Poconé SESC (SESCs are community and cultural centers found throughout Brazil) and now offer lessons to other local children alongside the children from Nazaré! Over the next year we plan to grow the program up to as many as 60 students. In addition to reaching more children, this expansion continues to develop our partnership with the Ciranda Institute. In addition to weekly lessons, music students of Pantanal Music Exchange will play recitals, study theory, have end of term progress exams, and will have the opportunity to move up into the state-wide youth orchestra as they advance.
We're currently raising funds to support this expansion:
Pantanal Music Exchange (PME) works to provide and increase access to high quality music education in Mato Grosso, Brazil. The project began at the Nazaré Orphanage in Poconé, teaching violin, viola, and cello to kids ages 8 to 16, and continues to expand with lessons, concerts, and performance opportunities in the community. PME brings in accomplished musicians and aims to provide a very high quality music education, but also recognizes the wider benefits of music. Through music, PME works to improve overall education effectiveness, build a sense of community, and provide a creative outlet.
Today, weekly music lessons continue year-round at Nazare in partnership with the Instituto Ciranda, a youth orchestra based in Cuiaba. The Juara foundation provides intensive teaching during the summer, and helps guide curriculum throughout the year. We are also looking at ways to expand throughout the schools and community in Poconé to offer music education to even more students.
Building on local tradition and strengthening community is an important part of PME. The program allows children to learn the music they like and the music they know, be it traditional, classical, or even pop. In 2014 PME ran a joint musical experience matching students in Brazil with their counterparts in Los Angeles. Aided by technology, the students were able to perform for each other, listen, and even make music together. Students could showcase their own music, experience that of others, and be proud of what they had accomplished.
Since 2013, Pantanal Music Exchange has collaborated with the Instituto Ciranda, a youth orchestra in Cuiabá, Mato Grosso. PME brings talented American musicians and educators to act as mentors at Ciranda, and Ciranda provides teachers and other musical opportunities to the children at Nazaré when PME volunteers are not present. During summer 2015 Juara musicians gave master classes with the State Youth Orchestra of Mato Grosso, and additionally taught and performed with Ciranda sattelite programs in Nova Mutum, Rondonopolis, Nova Brasilandia, and Campo Verde.
In summer 2014, Instituto Ciranda hosted the first ever Orchestral Music Festival in the state of Mato Grosso, at which PME musicians taught and performed. PME will be helping the festival to return with even better teachers, ensembles, and opportunities for more musicians in summer 2016.