With virtual classes, music continues playing in the poor homes of Chile

Chilean music teachers, who had to adapt the format of their classes in the face of the coronavirus quarantine, have found in virtual education a method so that the melodies do not stop playing in the poor homes of the country.

With the suspension of classes on March 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chilean students have not followed a normal curriculum for months, first affected by the wave of protests that began in October and then paralyzed during the austral summer.

As in the rest of the world, Chilean musicians and teachers had to find a way to overcome the obstacles of confinement so that students did not lose an “essential for the human being” tool, especially in times of anxiety and confusion.

“Turn the C screw up half a turn to the right,” says the violist Natalia Hidalgo to her students, whom she listens attentively, with her eyes closed, through a video call.

The interpreter, who teaches young people from poor towns such as Renca and Pirque, in the Metropolitan region, told Efe that “the important thing is that there be continuity for the children.”

“I was very moved by a Renca mom, with a complex life situation, when she told me that her five-year-old son spent the afternoon playing the xylophone after seeing my entire class,” Hidalgo confessed.

The musician Cristopher Aguilar, a teacher at schools in Quilicura and Huechuraba, on the outskirts of Santiago de Chile, had disparate results when starting remote teaching: “Some students have found the online class difficult due to connectivity. It is not for everyone. same world, some do not have internet and had to go to their neighbors’ house. “

Aguilar, who has taught both in the richest communes (neighborhoods) of the Chilean capital and in the most vulnerable, assured that “the students who have less money are more prepared (tenacious) and convey more appreciation for having rehearsals and concerts” .

The violinist admitted that he misses contact with them, making music together and having concerts because the youth orchestra in which he participates is “like a family”.


But why has music taken on such a relevant role throughout the planet during the COVID-19 quarantine?

“It is a way of kissing or touching each other when it is forbidden. Singing we are not going to kill any virus, but we put in place some mechanisms that are vital and that raise our spirits,” music therapist Carolina Muñoz explained to Efe.

So, according to the psychologist, thousands of people have come to play from their balconies, on social networks or as part of large solidarity concerts in acts of “generosity” that cross borders thanks to technology.

Muñoz, who is in permanent contact with teachers because he coordinates the postgraduate degree in Music Therapy at the University of Chile, celebrated the “enormous creativity” they have displayed in times of confinement.

“It is striking that a subject that is normally an accessory and to which very little space and value is given, now is the one that is allowing us to get ahead,” he added.

“All human beings are musical beings,” said the psychologist, who called for this “fundamental human activity”, which during quarantine provides an “indispensable” contribution that helps “emotional well-being.”

Arnald Prat Barnadas


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