WATCH: Music inclusion programs in Buenos Aires

C.A.S.A (top) and Todos Hacemos Música (bottom) (Photo Courtesy of C.A.S.A and THM)
C.A.S.A., top, and Todos Hacemos Música. (Photo Courtesy of C.A.S.A. and THM)

By Cindy Wang and Julia Jing
Medill Reports

Centro Artístico Solidario Argentino (C.A.S.A.) and Todos Hacemos Música (THM) are two music programs that advocate for music inclusivity for diverse populations in Argentina. C.A.S.A professionally and financially supports children from local neighborhoods who want to pursue music and art careers; THM organizes concerts and releases studio albums for musicians with special needs. Although these two programs are slightly different from each other, they both represent the progressive music inclusion programs in Latin America. Medill Reports went to Buenos Aires this February and listened to their stories through their genuine music and voices, to understand the power of music that has full potential in interconnecting with different people.


[Cello music playing in the background]

Jonathan Terrazas: Every time I listen to music, it gives me energy, like taking drugs in a healthy way. It makes your head fly. It’s something that you can’t explain.

What I like the most is composing for opera or pop music. I’m studying at the conservatory, and I want to become a great composer one day.

I like all types of classical music with orchestras, violins, cellos, keyboards. I think that’s what I want to convey through my music.

Terrazas: I was at the school of Nuestra Señora de Fátima. And there I met my teacher Mailen, who taught music classes. Mailen has been a guide for me. Until now, she continues to be (my guide), and not only for me, from what I have seen from many people. She has always guided students for what they want to do with art. She has given students ideas about where they can study, where they can be, how they can do everything.

Mailen Myskow: My name is Mailen Myskow, and I am a composer. I dedicate my life to teaching classical music. We have worked in popular neighborhoods with this NGO called Centro Artístico Solidario Argentino (C.A.S.A.) for 10 years. We are opening our third office this year to give new good opportunities to children and adolescents who want to study music for free in the neighborhood.

We started this program 10 years ago when we were young college students. We wanted to do something different and offer some of the opportunities that we had been able to offer.

Terrazas: Mailen has given students many possibilities. If there is no teacher like Mailen, it’s like swimming through the sea without a rudder.

[Cello music concludes in the background]

Ralf Niedenthal: We are helping people with special needs since the year 2008, and our principal goal is to promote the inclusion with persons with special needs through music.

[Band music playing on stage]

[Audience applauds]

Niedenthal: My name is Ralf Niedenthal. I’m a music therapist. I’m the director of the NGO, Todos Hacemos Música.

So here in Buenos Aires, we are between 30 and 40 people. And it’s interesting because there are 40 volunteers, but the volunteers also have special needs. So, first of all, we said, “OK, we help other people with special needs, and the volunteers also (have special needs), and they mix.” And they said, “OK, I want to be volunteer; OK, I want to sing, and I will play an instrument.”

Diego Stanley: My name is Diego Stanley, and I am 45 years old. I am a subway musician and a volunteer artist with Todos Hacemos Música. I joined this music program through a friend Fátima, who is from San Juan. She told me about it, and I told her I would like to join it. If they all make music, I can do it too. And I said, “Give me Ralf’s phone.” (Ralf Niedenthal is the director of this NGO) She handed me Ralf’s number and I called him and said, “Hi, sir, how are you doing?” I was shy and I said I would like to participate in the group.” After 10 minutes of the call, there was no more shyness at all.

[“Himno De Mi Corazon” by Abuelos De La Nada playing on the background]

Niedenthal: “Que vez cuando me vez” is “What you see when you see me,” and it’s really interesting, in fact it’s one of the titles of our new album: “What Do You See When You See Me.” And it’s also interesting Diego, another singer, because he can’t see, but there are other ways to see.

[The music concludes and the audiences applaud]

Cindy Wang and Julia Jing are graduate students in the video & broadcast specialization. Connect with Cindy on LinkedIn. Connect with Julia on LinkedIn.