Xanthi. Minority Notes.
In January 2014 pianist Panos Karan and flautist Ana Chifu travelled to North Greece, in the municipality of Xanthi, to perform for students of minority schools. The Keys of Change team visited four schools in different communities, by invitation of the the Greek NGO “Anthropos”, which had been operating in the area over the previous year providing free vaccinations for minors. The schools visited are elementary minority schools, with a focus on Turkish speaking Roma population of the area. Most of the children in this part of Greece are living in extremely difficult conditions, resulting from poverty, while family problems include abuse and violence. This is a part of Greece that Greek language is spoken little if at all. Music, however, is a strong part of Roma culture, and therefore this was an interesting opportunity for Keys of Change to identify specific musical needs, and establish a direct link between the cultures with the use of music.
In March 2015 pianist Panos Karan and flautist Zach Tarpagos spent two days working with students of the 1st grade at the Iliopetra Minority Elementary School. The students were encouraged to work as a group to produce rhythms and learn songs, which they had to present the next day in front of the whole school. This was an invitation to use music as a powerful tool of to brighten up lives, and to learn about collaboration, leadership and team work. The result on the second day was truly inspiring.
Keys of Change plans to continue working in Xanthi with these students living in extra ordinary circumstances, and hopes to establish a music education platform.