Good People Good Work
From the Trash Bin to Concert Hall: Uplifting Disadvantaged Paraguayan Youth through Music (In Spanish)      
Today’s Good People, Good Works will be presented in Spanish, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

E (m): Here in Paraguay, many people, uh, are doing something cultural, something for the kids. And us in particular, we are on the road, providing that bridge between culture, between countries, and inviting people, to come to Paraguay. This is our interest, and this is our longing, to make a better world through music.

HOST (IN SPANISH): Welcome, joyful viewers, to another edition of Good People, Good Works. Today, we’ll revisit the Sounds of the Earth project founded in 2002 by Maestro Luis Szarán of Paraguay, which improves the lives of disadvantaged children by giving them the opportunity to interact with and create musical sounds and instruments.

Through Maestro Szarán’s guidance, Sounds of the Earth has exposed more than 12,000 children in Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay to the vast world of music. Using a “Conservatory on Wheels” approach, the project’s teachers travel to different areas so they can offer musical training to less fortunate youngsters. The students’ parents act as managers and help run Sounds of the Earth programs in their respective communities.

Besides being founder and director of Sounds of the Earth, Maestro Szarán is an internationally renowned musician, composer and conductor, who directed the Asunción City Symphonic Orchestra and the Phylomusica Orchestra of Asunción. The Maestro received the National Award of Music from Paraguay’s Parliament in 1997 and was also knighted by the Italian government. From a young age, he has had an enormous passion for music.

Luis(m): Well, eh, I come from a family of European immigrants from Eastern Europe, who arrived in Paraguay in 1938, after the Chaco War and before World War II, and my parents settled in the south, between the city of Encarnación, Carmen del Paraná, Yutu, Casapa. And one day I was at my school, I was eight years old, and there came to play a famous guitarist, called Sila Godoy. And I really… I went crazy to say it in a quicker and easier way, when I heard that wonderful instrument, which is the classical guitar, and so I went to my mother’s house, running, after school and said, "Mom, I know what I want..."

HOST: In Sounds of the Earth, making musical instruments gives students a chance to be creative. Let’s now find out the fun of learning at Sounds of the Earth.

MF (m): Hallo, I'm Mauro Figueredo, better known as Maurito. I play the bass, which is made with drums from chemicals, and it uses materials such as a broomstick, and the only normal thing about the instrument are the strings. Here, as a handle, is what once was the leg of a table.

MF (m): Thanks to this instrument, we demonstrate that what counts is the person themself, what the person is, what they do, and how they are able to collaborate to succeed every day and be better, and do their part to make the world better.

Unknown Guy(m): Well, Creating the instruments is mostly imagination, you know? We imagine and we look for a way to replace a normal violin with something that we can find in the trash. For example, this violin cover is already broken; we look for a way and see exactly what form it has, and how we can replace it with something solid.

DC (f): My name is Diana Carolina Benitez, (I am) 22-years-(old); I have played the viola for seven and a half years. I'm from the city of Carapeguá. I started to study this instrument in the music school in my community, thanks to the invitation of my own brothers. My instrument is made from a container found in the trash, the cover is a paint can; then holders and wood were found in the trash – all recycled.

DC (f): The truth is that we have infinite goals, because from the point of view of how you’re looking at this you can find thousands of choices… such as recycling, instilling values, or wherever you see, you will find something meaningful in this piece of junk, as some might call it.

M.E.B (f): My name is Maria Eugenia Benítez. I am 16 - years- old. I play the violin. The violin is made basically of a roasting pan, which was a container. The lid, it was a paint can here, a fork and pieces of wood found in the trash.

HOST: In order to make these unique instruments, patience is the key to success.

Unknown Guy(m): In fact, working with recycled materials is a project in which you have to be very patient, because many times the recycled material does not work, because they are garbage and/or the metal is oxidized or something. So sometimes we run the risk of the project not working.

Israel(m): Here we are again putting together a violin. This is a roasting pan, an old roasting pan. We reinforced it with wood here, where the handle will go, which is also being repaired. This we did once, but it got broken here. So now we repair it, and we will place the handle here again.

Israel(m): Here we have a violin. It is the cover. It has to be tight enough so it does not vibrate, even a little. Otherwise, it will sound like tin. There it is tuned, we put the holder, so you can stretch the strings; we are going to put this string here…

Israel(m): I'm putting the last strings.

Israel(m): Then let's try to tune it, to see if this violin will work.

Israel(m): This has to fit here. It fits. Perfect.

Israel(m): There it is. We adjust the bridge to fit well. There it is.

HOST: What does a cello made out of recycled material sound like? Let’s find out!

JC (m): I am Juan Chavez from Carapeguá, and I play the cello. This particular instrument is made of oil cans, the tailpiece is made of some old spatulas, the wood was found in the trash, and the pins as you can see are spoons. The only thing normal in this instrument are the strings.

AB (m): My name is Arturo Benitez, I play the saxophone. This is a recycled saxophone that is made of tin from the gutter, which is used in water drains, buttons, handles from spoons, forks, buttons, and it is basically a fully recycled instrument. Everything is completely recycled material.

A. B (m): Well, We built our own instruments, we did not know how it would sound, we couldn’t even imagine. When we started testing, I said, “Wow, sounds good, sounds good,” and started playing. And what you feel is excitement, a thrill and satisfaction for your work, work that one produces, and thus with those feelings you try to do your best on stage.

J.A (m): Hallo, I´m Juan Ayala. This instrument is made of a gutter pipe and reused metal, coins, pieces of forks, locks; and it is a flute that sounds pretty good. I've heard how it sounds and it is a good instrument. It is made of trash.

SMTV (f): Could you tell us what feeling you get when you play an instrument built by yourself from recycled material?

JA (m): Actually a pretty good feeling, because not only does it express feelings of sharing with colleagues, it is fun too. It means getting away from the routine of playing with formal instruments.

HOST: Besides helping children learn music, Sounds of the Earth also teaches them how to be good citizens.

MF (m): Oh, The main purpose of forming this group is for musical training, but does not forget personal training; rather the project seeks to utilize music as a way to form good citizens, so music development 10%, but good citizens 90%.

MEB (f): Well, First, it is an opportunity for a very good kind of growth that really helps young people get off drugs, alcohol and keep away from that, because playing an instrument is a big responsibility. You have to rehearse, you have to go to be with your orchestra, and sincerely you do not have much time left to be on the streets into drugs and stuff.

JC (m): Music changes life a lot; it shapes good people and everything.

SMTV (f): What is your message to all the international viewers of Supreme Master TV?

JC (m): That music, art, all of it, is an amazing world, and Paraguay is advancing thanks to this project of Maestro Luis Szarán. And that we must seize the opportunities that are given to us and appreciate what we have and what it is.

MW (m): Besides the friendship, camaraderie, we have learned many values such as love, respect, responsibility and commitment to what we are doing.

HOST: As students at Sounds of the Earth grow up to be fine role models for younger children, they also have a chance to contribute to their communities.

MEB (f): Well, First is to help other disadvantaged children. Therefore we can help by making instruments very low, very low cost, so we can reach many more people.

AB (m): Well, With this group, what we want is first to encourage kids to play music, and second to encourage the children, and encourage the children that one can be valued for what you are and see what you can be on your own.

HOST: Before we close today’s program, here are some final thoughts about what it means to learn at Sounds of the Earth.

SA. (m): The main message is that in music there are no borders, that much can be done with little, and that the lack of resources is not an excuse not to succeed.

MW (m): Through good and bad, we support each other, we help each other focus and continue to grow.

E (m): We encourage all people, all communities, youth, children. You really can do it, can do it if you have determination, and no matter how humble your family is, you can succeed.

E (m): When you have a dream, when you have a vision, and you are not lucky enough to have had the means, perhaps economic, or being born in a community that offers such opportunities, I believe that with ingenuity, talent, work, and effort a person can on their own achieve dreams.

E (m): With this, we are demonstrating that with the minimum, you can also access great opportunities and you do have the quality, if you have talent and if you have the will to succeed.

HOST: Our appreciation all the Sounds of the Earth students we met, for sharing your experiences in the program and introducing your splendid instruments to us. Also, our deep thanks Maestro Luis Szarán and Sounds of the Earth volunteers for spreading love and kindness to the underprivileged children of Paraguay and other South American nations through your benevolent initiatives. May the activities at Sounds of the Earth continue to bring joy and happiness to many more young people.

For more details on Sounds of the Earth, please visit:

OUTRO (IN SPANISH): Cherished viewers, thank you for joining us today on Good People, Good Works. May the glorious music from Heaven forever lift all souls.

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