Saturday, August 27, 2016

Flute making as Service-Learning

One of the highlights of the conference is the panel of winners of the 2015 Presidential Awards for Service-Learning.  Teachers and students from three high schools from remote regions of Argentina presented their work.  

One of them was a teacher and a student from High School of Art No. 49 from Tilcara, Jujuy.  Jujuy is in the extreme northwest of Argentina, neighbouring Chile and Bolivia.  It is high in the Andes Mountains and historically at the southern edge of the Inca Empire.  The school was original set up for young people who somehow had to get back into high school but could not find a place.  

David Martinez Guillermo Cabrera is a music teacher at the school who formed a team of students and started fixing and making a flute-like traditional music instruments for the local people. They also travel around and perform for the local people.  Someone even made an app then can be used to tune the instrument.  Young people would spend 2 hours at Internet cafes downloading the app due to the slow speed.  Their workshops become very popular and now students want to get into the school, which was originally set up for dropouts. 

Both the teacher and the student spoke about their experience.  The student was so eloquent one would be excused in thinking he must at least be university age.  The teacher and student pair then performed together and activated the whole 500-strong crowd.  

It is a wonderfully romantic service-learning project, isn’t it?

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