“Together with their other four siblings – Cecília, Mirian, Vitória and Bruno, aged 15, 14, 12 and 10 respectively – and their parents, Bento and Lane Cruz, they manage the initiative, which today has over 150 students”
In the Cruz family, music has always been a passion. The rhythm that united the family was forró. The grandfather played the guitar. The father and uncles are also musicians, all self-taught. Even so, despite the artistic heritage, Axel and Maíra suffered some resistance when they decided to go down the musical path. Lack of perspectives and financial instability were the greatest fears.
But there was no other way. Axel, the eldest, wanted to be a musician more than anything. Hidden from everyone, he learned how to play the guitar. He had talent in spades. When the rest of the family found out, it was already too late.
Axel then received an ultimatum: if he really wanted to be a musician, he would have to seriously study. That would prove to be no effort for him. After a few lessons with his father, Axel won a scholarship for the Alberto Nepomuceno Music Conservatory. Three other siblings – Maíra, Cecília and Mirian – followed in his footsteps and also gained scholarships at the institution.
Currently, all of them are involved in the Magic Chords project. The two older siblings are teachers, the two middle ones are assistants and the two youngest are students. The Cruz family is definitely a family of artists.
A symphony for tomorrow
The Magic Chords project is part of the Symphony of Tomorrow Platform, a network created by Enel that supports the teaching of music to children and youngsters and the development of citizenship reference groups.
In the beginning, there were only two guitars, four recorders, one flute and a violin. When Axel and Maíra spread around the borough the news that they would give free lessons in more than 10 musical instruments, the community immediately began to enrol. After that, raffles, gymkhanas and benefit concerts raised the necessary amount to buy other instruments.
Maíra says the project is an alterative to the lack of perspective faced by young people in the community: “Through music you can transform reality”, believes the young teacher.
Today, the Magic Chords project is formed by the Symphony Orchestra (with 64 musicians), the Woodwind Orchestra (formed only of children), the Guitar Quartet, the Bowing String Orchestra, the Guitar Ensemble and the Flute Quartet.
“Our dream is to turn our project into something bigger, teaching orchestral music to people from other neighbourhoods, towns and states. And, who knows, maybe some day to take our music abroad”
With so much determination, this dream is finely tuned and harmonious.