Friday, June 15, 2018

Margo's Musings: Music Changes Everything!




“The world sends us garbage. We send back music.” ~ Susan Hood, Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay 





This is the true story of how a village turned garbage into music. Ada Rio’s family lives in Cateura, Paraguay. Her town is filled with trash and is actually built on a landfill. Many of the people in the village go through the garbage collecting items, like plastic, which they can trade in for money. Then Favio Chavez arrives and starts teaching about ecological safety, and before long he brings music to the children. When there aren’t enough instruments for everyone who wants to play, he works with them to make unique ones out of the garbage all around. Playing music is hard work, but the children that stick with it learn and get better. Soon the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay is on tour, seeing new places, and even being asked to play with famous rock bands, like Metallica. Music truly changes lives.


The bright colors and textured illustrations really draw in the reader. My sister, Margo, was intrigued by the images. The recycled instruments and scenes were enhanced by the collage style used to create the pages. My heart goes out to the people who live in Carteura, and I know how upset I get when I see litter, so I can only imagine how hard it would be to see so much garbage everywhere. I loved learning how music and the creation of instruments from the materials they salvaged changed their lives. The kids worked hard and learned how to make music, and even though it was not easy, they didn't give up. Their perseverance ended up being able to change their village and the lives of many people in it. Together they made our planet prettier and filled it with good tunes. So often we want something brand new from the store, but if we reuse and recycle, there is less waste and we can help make our planet a more beautiful place.


When Margo and I finished reading she wanted to make music. We looked through our recycling bin and found jars, cardboard tubes, and a coffee can. We made a few instruments, and Margo has loved playing with the “rainmaker” she decorated.  Who knows- maybe one of us will come up with a new instrument or we’ll be inspired to play other instruments. We’re definitely having fun!

Ada’s Violin: The True Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay is an excellent picture book for anyone who likes to learn about people who are making the world a better place. It's a great story to introduce to children that will inspire creativity and to show them what life is like in different places. I especially loved that the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay toured with bands like Metallica and earned money to help build houses in their village. Such an inspiration!

Check out the 60 Minutes Spotlight to see the village and musicians. 

Listen to the band play with Metallica? 

Has anyone else read Ada’s Violin: The True Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay? Or have you read another book by Susan Hood? We’d love to hear your thoughts!


Happy reading! ~ F

24 comments:

  1. This one sounds like a great way to get kids to learn and look at things differently indeed.

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    1. Pat- It definitely gets kids thinking outside the box and figuring out ways to make things. :) ~F

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  2. Music makes everything better.
    I saw a special about that town. It didn't focus on the music, but it did talk about how people were re-purposing things from the garbage.

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    1. Alex- I love that the people are figuring out a way to re-purpose things. Garbage is a problem all over the world. Music definitely makes everything better. :) ~F

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  3. What can I say but WOW?

    There is up-cycling and then there is up-cycling on a grand scale and this is definitely on a grand scale.

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    1. Tracy- I know! Isn't it awesome! :) ~F

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  4. This sounds like a wonderful inspiration to recycle and make music, 2 wonderful things that make the world better. Hugs, Valerie

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    1. Valerie- I couldn't agree more! :) ~F

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  5. I was wondering if someone was going to write a book about this. I knew about the project. It's a good thing!

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    1. Sherry- Such an awesome project! I hadn't heard of it before reading the book. :) ~F

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  6. This is amazing and simply wonderful.

    All the best Jan

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  7. Hi DMS - I had heard about this orchestra a few years ago and noted it - probably on BBC or Channel 4 in England ... I see it was formed in 2012. However the book looks delightful ... and I've another idea for it ... lovely to read ...just wish I could play music!! But enjoy listening to it ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary- How awesome that you had already heard about this orchestra. What an amazing group! :)
      ~F

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  8. Like Hilary I have heard about this orchestra and seen and applauded stories about it. What a brilliant idea. Love that you had fun making instruments at home.

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    1. EC- It's amazing what you can make into instruments! :) ~F

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  9. Fascinating. What a wonderful way to use garbage. Who would have thought it? This would be good for children and adults to do, maybe as school projects. Clean up the city and make something useful.

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    1. Beverly- I love that they are cleaning up and learning new skills. I can't even imagine how hard it would be to play some of the instruments! :) ~F

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  10. That was really cool to see the band play with Metallica and I love that song.

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    1. Mary- I loved seeing them play with Metallica too. So cool! :) ~F

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  11. I think this is truly amazing! Thanks for sharing this! Big Hugs!

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    1. Magic Love Crow- Glad you enjoyed it! :) ~F

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