Recycled Instruments, Training Module

Concept

The construction of instruments with recycled materials allows combining environmental concerns with artistic practices. Building instruments can be an easy way to teach essential music concepts, easily answering questions like: what are the components of a guitar, how is it built, how should the strings be tuned, among other basic knowledge. Projects that adopt this technique work mostly with young people in situations of vulnerability or social exclusion, creating an opportunity for them to be welcomed into a new affective and occupational community through music education. Recycling acquires a double meaning: a second chance is given to materials considered to be garbage, which allows damaged instruments to be recovered or even built from scratch, but new opportunities are also given to young people who are in social risk situations. This kind of practice opens the horizons to young people, endowing them with knowledge and skills that will allow trainees to project their future with more ambition, having the purpose of achieving better living conditions.

Benefits

This practice ensures accessibility to instruments for all project participants at a reduced cost. In addition, it makes it possible for a musical educational project to also address important issues like environmental awareness, acting to simultaneously educate on topics such as climate changes and sustainable use of the resources we have at our disposal. By being included in artistic projects with these values, youngsters will develop skills that can be very useful to them in the future, both professional and personally.

Developed skills

  • Music skills
  • Acceptance
  • Social inclusion
  • Empathy
  • Practical improvisation skills
  • Practical material reuse skills
  • Environmental and humanitarian responsibility
  • Personal and collective responsibility
  • Creativity
  • Personal motivation
  • Ability to work as a team

Units

This module is divided in several units to be easier to apply. At the end of these pages you will find several materials to help you apply these practices, namely presentations for lectures, support documents for trainers and worksheets for trainees. Find more at the training curricula section. 

– Basic instruments simple to build

– Tuned instruments

– Repair of instruments using recycled materials

– Create an orchestra

Get Some inspiration from these projects / Examples

RECYCLED ORCHESTRA OF CATEURA

“The world sends us garbage. We send music back.”

“el mundo nos da basura. Nosotros le devolvemos música.” 

 

La Escuela del Reciclaje, by ECOEMBES (com hiperligação para as best practices > case studies no site, em comum com a Orquestra Reciclada de Cateura)

A Escola da Reciclagem é um projeto social que adapta o conceito da Orquestra Reciclada de Cateura à realidade de Madrid. Uma iniciativa da ECOEMBES que acolhe jovens em risco de exclusão social através do ensino da música, recorrendo à utilização de instrumentos reciclados. Trabalham com 6 centros em Madrid, o que resulta na inclusão de aproximadamente 100 jovens. 

– Testemunho de Victor Gil Serafini, diretor artístico da Escola da Reciclagem: 

(ES)

“Se da una segunda oportunidad a una lata, una madera o a algo que está de desecho, pero también se le dará una segunda, tercera o cuarta oportunidad a mucha gente que está abandonada por el sistema.

¿Por qué pensar la música como herramienta de acercamiento a los niños? 

¿Por qué creemos que la música puede servir para una transformación personal? 

 La música es un lenguaje que no es discursivo. Simplemente se siente y es el espacio adecuado para encontrarnos más allá de cualquier diferencia, permitiendo un acercamiento inmediato a los niños a través de la emoción. Aunque no haya un dominio técnico perfecto hay un resultado desde el primer día.”

Para Víctor Gil Serafini, la respuesta inmediata de la enseñanza de la música no permite criar frustraciones porque hay siempre un resultado nuevo y un crecimiento natural de clase para clase. Terminar una clase tocando, con una actividad práctica que les de alguna satisfacción, es muy importante para que los niños continúen motivados. Y añade: 

“La orquestra funciona como un sitio de colaboración, como la sociedad – depende del trabajo común de los participantes. Hay espacio para el cultivo personal, pero hacemos entender a los niños que es interdependiente y que el trabajo en grupo es la base. Se crea una relación de solidaridad y comprensión mutua. Hacerles participó en algo más grande que depende de ellos también. 

La enseñanza de las artes no está presente en la enseñanza general y eso es algo que tenemos que rellenar. La música es una actividad que nos ofrece una plataforma ideal porque es una actividad práctica cuyo resultado se puede comprobar inmediatamente. Estudiar música es otra manera de abrir se al mundo y de ser persona. Los niños necesitan de una formación completa para encontrar su camino y descubrir su personalidad. 

Enseñar música es abrir caminos.”

Serafini argumenta que este género de proyectos combate el estigma utilitarista de que todo lo que hacemos tiene un objetivo. Los niños no necesitan seguir una carrera musical porque la experiencia vale por otros motivos, ya que les ayuda a descubrirse a sí mismos y a que descubren el entorno que les rodea.

The world sends us garbage. We send music back.

It is a perfect metaphor for how the resources that made up the life of a culture for many years can be reused in education, culture and even economy itself.

Rodrigo Romani - SondeSeu

We believe that the best school experience is made on stage, performing to different kinds of audience and, if possible, in a very professional environment.

We like to think about art as a hole and work through all its questions together.

Violeta Mosquera - Estudo Bonobo

Training Unit 1: Basic instruments simple to build

After this unit trainees will have a broader understanding about several instrument’s elements. They will also be able to creatively create instruments from recycled materials or easily find ways to repair damaged instruments. 

How can you start to prepare for these activities? 

Building or repairing instruments with recycling materials can be a very free-style activity  because you have to work with what you have at your disposal. There is no unique formula on how to prepare and do this practice, but here you have some tips and questions that can help you:

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Worksheets-Basic-instruments 32 KB 3 downloads

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