[connecting across disciplines: Music | ACTFL Standard 3.1]
Orquesta de Instrumentos Reciclados de Cateura (Paraguay)
On the outskirts of Asunción, Paraguay, the residents of Cateura live alongside a landfill. Quite by accident, a local musician stumbled upon an idea — how to take advantage of the items thrown into the landfill to fashion instruments for the local youth. The idea caught fire; now Cateura has a youth orchestra that plays Beethoven, Bach, the Beatles, Michael Jackson (among others) on flutes and saxophones made from pipes, bottle caps and coins, violins and cellos formed from oil drums, guitars of industrial-sized food service cans and many other instruments crafted of materials reclaimed from the landfill. They have also done some touring to share their music and story.
A feature-length documentary (Landfill Harmonic), slated for release in 2014, will tell the story of the Cateura Recycled Instrument Orchestra, its founder, the musicians, and their families.
What an inspirational story to explore in the classroom! Here are some links (Spanish and English) to learn more about this story: