Ricardo and his daughter Metzlie are laughing and celebrating the birthday party of a fellow student in their class of wind instruments. They are enjoying the open air patio of Casa Tres Mundos, a cultural centre and music and art school in the heart of colonial Granada (Nicaragua). What unites this group of students is their love of music, especially the unique and powerful sounds of wind instruments—trumpets, saxophones, and tubas—and their desire to perfect their skills as musicians.
Ricardo Ali Lacayo Balmaceda, 39 and his only daughter Metzlie, 11, have been studying together for more than three years under the guidance of teacher Edwin Torres. From a poor neighborhood in the north of Granada, they never had the chance to study music before coming to Casa Tres Mundos. They learned about the free lessons through the local church. Metzie began at age 8 with lessons in saxhorn and musical notation (solfeo). Ricardo joined her a few months later. Both father and daughter attend the music school three afternoons a week.
What does the Casa Tres Mundos mean to Ricardo? He says that it “saves his life”, it helps him to forget the “noise of the outside world”, and “feeds him” culture and music from all over the globe. Ricardo proudly explains that his instrument, the imposing tuba and Metzlie’s instrument, the smaller saxhorn, are both tuned to the key of fa and played with a similar technique. When Metzlie grows up, she will be easily capable of playing the tuba, something unusual as it is generally played by imposing men.
For Metzlie, Casa Tres Mundos is a place to learn how to play wind instruments, the opportunity to learn how to read music, and a centre to make new friends who share her love of music. She is learning classical music. She is also learning traditional Nicaraguan music and songs, such as those from Carlos Mejia Godoy and songs from other Latin American countries. Ricardo and Metzlie have attended and enjoyed music concerts at the Teatro Nacional in Managua thanks to Casa Tres Mundos.
Ricardo asserts the importance of music in his life. He enjoys performing during concerts and is happy to play well after so much time and effort dedicated to learning and practicing. He likes the feeling of doing a “good job” as a musician and shares with his daughter the satisfaction and self-worth that comes with performing in front of the public. Both father and daughter explain that taking music lessons together helps them to be closer to one another. Music is a passion that unites the family and has helped Ricardo and Metzlie reach out to one another, communicate and problem solve as a team, and overcome otherwise difficult family circumstances.
Ricardo insists on one specific thing: “We do not have to pay anything to come here”. Casa Tres Mundos offers free music lessons, access to concerts in the capital and lends musical instruments at no cost so students can practice at home. It allows culture, the arts and music from the world to be accessible end enjoyed by all, rich and poor alike, without barriers. This is something of great worth and merit in a country like Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Americas.
Odette Langlais, volunteer, Friends of Casa Tres Mundos, november 2017
wordpress theme by initheme.com