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Category Archives: Connecting Across Disciplines

Recycled Instrument Orchestra in Paraguay

[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:

http://www.landfillharmonicmovie.com

http://www.veintemundos.com/magazines/70-en/#lenguaje

http://panoramanacionalrd.blogspot.com/2012/12/ninos-de-vertedero-paraguayo.html

http://www.ultimahora.com/notas/626632-Nicolas-Gomez:-De–ganchero–en-Cateura-a-lutier-de-orquesta

http://www.toonaripost.com/2013/02/entertainment/village-dump-becomes-source-of-music-instruments-for-children/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20863789

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/26/paraguayan-landfill-orchestra-music

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/19/entertainment/la-et-cm-turning-trash-into-musical-instruments-20121214

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/estilos/2014/orquesta-de-instrumentos-reciclados-976936.html

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Connecting Across Disciplines

I’m enchanted with the opportunities a World Language classroom offers to connect with other academic disciplines. This provides a way for students to acquire, reinforce and extend understanding of topics typically formally taught in other classrooms, such as art, geography, science, poetry, nature, robotics, health, storytelling, character analysis, drama, statistics, music, consumer science, and the like.

I also see it is as a way to support the efforts of my colleagues in other disciplines. It may even be more fun for me to mix things up and search for ways to keep things fresh and engaging!

I’m keeping track of the wonderful resources that I come across — many thanks to all who so generously take the time to share their materials and expertise! Look for resources to start appearing very soon!

 
 
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