On 20 July 2020, Beautiful News published a beautiful insert entitled “How free online violin lessons are orchestrating hope in townships”.  Watch it here:

In South Africa’s townships, the melodies of violins fill empty streets. While under lockdown due to COVID-19, children are unable to attend their music lessons. But that doesn’t mean the magic has to stop. Violin teacher Maria Botha has created an effective solution to keep her young students playing with joy.  

An accomplished violinist, Botha is dedicated to passing on her valuable knowledge. She founded the non-profit organisation Muzukidz, which offers free violin lessons to youth in disadvantaged communities. When children could no longer partake in practices, Botha adapted her initiative. Now, instructors from around the world forward the kids free daily video lessons over WhatsApp, who in turn record their practice and send it back for review. The programme provides free data so that students can continue honing their talent from their bedroom. “These children are full of skill and it’s wonderful to give them that possibility to come to their full potential,” Botha says.

While children stay home, families are becoming more involved in their musical journeys. Their support boosts kids’ confidence, as gentle harmonies create stronger bonds in the household. “I believe that now more than ever we can change the world with classical music,” Botha says. Although the pandemic has brought life to a standstill, youth are prospering through the sounds of their violins. In a time of adversity, they’re creating a symphony of hope.

 

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