Date: 2013/11/15
Author: Alexandre Desjeunes

It was a real pleasure to meet Maria Botha, the Suzuki violin teacher, and to know more about her incredible involvement for the children of Cape’s townships. It was a grand moment for me to arrive in this city on Thursday, 3 August 2011, the day of the concert of the young Suzuki violinists in the hall of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra venue.

I was really impressed by the performance of these young violinists from two townships of Cape Town, because they were all playing in tune and had a very good posture. It’s so great to see that, thanks to the Suzuki method and the teachers, no matter where the children are from, whether they are poor or rich, they are all playing, the same music, together. The next day, I had the opportunity to go to the townships with Maria to see her giving lessons to the children. Maria’s method reminds me of when I was learning the violin in France with the same joy and sense of rigor while playing. I am sure that they play with the same standard as the young violinists from France would play.

Thanks to the violin, discipline, teamwork and the great job that Maria has been doing transmitting the love of music, it’s marvelous that some of them might be able to earn a living with their music. While I was with Maria, I realized what a significant social impact musical education can have for kids from the townships. I will always remember the children’s happiness while playing in the concert hall and how proud the children were to receive the violins I brought from Paris.