As Lesly Brézault rightly puts it, in Haiti, we go through life singing and dancing. Music is at the chore of our cultural and social organization.
The preference for such or such musical genre remains an eminently personal matter; on the other hand, the sensation that this major art form provides is common to all: music, as we often hear it, "softens manners". But much more, it is curative, it heals of all evils deeply anchored in our daily life! More than the simple satisfaction found in listening or practicing it, music triggers other processes of unsuspected depth.
Musicians often speak of transcendental vibrations between themselves and their audience, which soothes everyone's pains at the same time! We have all witnessed the incredible performances of New Orleans-style gospel masters: the master of ceremonies and the audience are in a trance, interconnected by an invisible thread, which relieves resentment, frustration, individual hatred. Participants are connected one to the other and in harmony, through love, hope and inner peace shared by all.
More than an art form, music is therefore an individual and collective therapy!
Through music therapy, the FELB not only fights youngsters’ idleness, but it aims to break the destructive logics both against oneself and towards others.
Thus, without any pretense, music therapy can help counter delinquency and crime, these plagues that eat away at our daily lives. Thanks to the support of the Foundation, nearly 3000 students from various schools located between Carrefour, Delmas, Cité Soleil and Pétion-ville, have received flutes as gifts to learn the basic repertoire of classical music.
As it is done in many countries of America, the Foundation intervenes on several axes all going in the same direction, mostly that of the poorest, in order firstly to democratize access to music, and secondly, to put our youth back on the path of development.
Music as a factor of internal balance and group cohesion
It has been scientifically proven that music develops three essential functions for personal balance and social life: first, it stabilizes anxiety and increases self-esteem; secondly, it promotes a better mutual understanding; finally, it facilitates and stimulates social links.
Take our young people out of their negative thoughts by bringing them back to the positive
By keeping our youth away from violence in their neighborhoods even for a few hours a week, by sheltering them, we also offer them the possibility of living on their own in other ways, in a world of tranquility, appeasement and concentration. They can then express themselves and release bad emotions, such as anger, frustration ... The parasitic thoughts are left outside, at the door of the rehearsal room, suggesting the probability of a better world. We move from a negative environment synonymous with destruction, to a more constructive, pushing up! Better listening and communication are then observed because following the sounds, musical phrasing, silences, breaks, and raises, encourages a greater attention and connection with the entourage!
Music, a vector of success in class and a tool for problem solving
It is also proven that music increases the cognitive performance essential for solving complex equations in everyday life, or at school. In California, for example, a test group of 3 and 4 year olds who played piano and enrolled in singing during the school year, demonstrated increased abilities to solve complex puzzle-like problems, also achieving much better results in general subjects. In England, 10 and 11 year olds were able to complete mathematical problems faster with music.
Breathe better, develop gestures and memory, manage stress
The regularity imposed by playing music paces the heart rate and develops breathing. We now know that managing stress first requires good inhaling and exhaling habits, thus oxygenating the tissues. At the same time, we release the rib cage in which many negative emotions such as fear are hidden. At a medical school in Vermont, USA, a promising study found that the thickness of stress-affected brain areas decreased when the child practiced a musical instrument. The coordination of movements is also substantially improved, and the practice also stimulates specific parts of the brain in charge of memory, attention, organization and planning. The experience will be all the more effective if it starts early, which is why the EFBL puts special emphasis on music education for the youngest.
Inculcate values and fight against exclusion through play and creativity
If music theory or instrument mastery is essential to play music, beyond that, the activity restores the taste for effort, not under duress, but in a fun way. Because the game - we also say "play music" - is much more motivating than the classic, often authoritarian educational system which "forces" instead of "make us want to". School is often experienced as a repetitive exclusion, between those who will be able to do their homework with the help of family members, and others ... The mere fact of being able to play an instrument or do an activity reserved to an "elite" breaks with the two-speed model of society. Rich or poor kids are now on the same level. And by experiencing his/her creativity, by improvising on his/her own, according to his/her sensitivity and inspiration, the child speaks to him(her)self internally, but also to others. He/she then deals with his/her injuries by offering the best of him(her)self to the public.
A philosophy of life and a goal to achieve despite hardships
The practice of an instrument then becomes a posture, a philosophy in action. Michel Benedetto, 1st violin and super-soloist of the “Orchestre National d'Ile-de-France” who for decades taught music to youngsters of the Paris suburbs was able to transmit to them more than the skills of playing violin: an art of living of untold strength. He used to hammer: "A note plus a note make a scope; a scope followed by another form a partition; and several partitions constitute a complete musical work. Everything is connected and it does not matter if we make a false note, if we stumble: we must get up, do not stop on the way when you wobble, aim for the end! “ As in life.