From La Fenice to Sarajevo, Music&Emotions to help underprivileged children
SARAJEVO – Taking time off from the gilded concert hall of La Fenice, a leading Italian violinist will play next week for underprivileged Bosnian children using music therapy to help those less fortunate. Sara Michieletto, who has performed with top orchestras across Europe and the United States during an illustrious career and since 1998 has played in the first violins of the orchestra of the opera house in Venice, will perform classical music to help angry, traumatised youths become emotionally aware and enabling them to better channel anger and frustration.
Sara Michieletto in Indonesia
Before Sarajevo, Michieletto has played her violin for children in Africa, across the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, in Indian slums and helping street kids and orphans in Indonesia. “In the case of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, this is so important because they have faced a lot of difficult things in the past and trauma,” she said in a recent interview with AFP: “Music is a very powerful means of conveying emotions.”
In the Bosnian capital the laboratory “Music and Emotions” has been organized by the Italian Embassy and the NGO SOS Village: “Once again Italy puts its huge cultural heritage to show solidarity with the host Country”, said Italian Ambassador Ruggero Corrias. Under a special arrangement with the Fenice Foundation, Sara Michieletto is able to carry out her charitable work and continue playing with the opera house’s orchestra for a short period each year. In Sarajevo she has performed on April 3 at the Muzička Akademija for a wider public free of charge and will do an “encore” on April 8.
Michieletto started playing for underprivileged children first in Mozambique in from 1996 to 2003, then in 2004 when she toured with UNESCO schools around the West Bank for several weeks. In the decade since she has played for thousands of children around the world. In 2005-2006 she was in Eritrea, where she designed and implemented the project entitled “Introduction to music and self expression”, a project targeting women and children in Asmara, in collaboration with the Filippini Religious Sisters and other local institutions.
Music of Emotions
“Researchers are realizing more and more the degree to which the emotional development of children can influence their mental state and thence their physical state”, Michieletto explains on her website: “We dedicate a lot of time to teaching our children how to behave at table or how to dress, yet we expect them to be able to learn by themselves how to handle complex emotions such as anger, sadness and frustration”.
According to Sara, “it’s natural to associate sounds with feelings. The strains of a violin are ideal for conveying different feelings to different listeners: reminiscent of a human voice, easy to transport, eclectic, present in most cultures all over the world, the violin is the instrument of choice for approaching the most diverse sensitivities and traditions, in the Middle East or in the Americas, in Europe or in Asia”. (April 3, 2015)