Boston elementary school students inspired by violin teacher

Posted on: December 20, 2012

“The first time the students saw Adrian Anantawan play his violin, they were stunned,” writes Geoff Edgers in today’s (12/20) Boston Globe. “He had no right hand.… ‘I was astonished,’ says Kelly Exilus, 11, a violist from Jamaica Plain and one of the students that spring day at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Brighton.… Nobody at the school talks much these days about Anantawan’s right arm. They’re too busy practicing, while also learning a greater truth from their teacher: Music is the great equalizer.… More than 60 percent of the third- to sixth-graders at the school come from low-income homes, according to school officials. They have seen the limitations that could have held back both the students and teacher—physical or sociological. ‘What accessibility is, in my mind, is raising the series of potential development for any child,’ says Anantawan….  Conservatory Lab opened as a charter school focusing on music in 1999. In 2010, the school incorporated El Sistema, the program inspired by Venezuela’s music education system. Children are loaned instruments and given free private lessons. They also get a chance to play in the Dudamel Orchestra, named after the Latin American conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, nurtured under El Sistema.”

Posted December 20, 2012
Photo by Josh Reynolds