The opera singer has been working with El Sistema Greece on workshops with refugee children from countries including Afghanistan and Syria: ‘El Sistema is building a cultural revolution here, through music education.’

Joyce DiDonato is one of the world’s greatest opera singers and she’s been lending her star power to a music education project working with refugee children in Greece.

“The idea is to combine these children into orchestra and choir so that we have integration so we have people coming together to make music from various cultural backgrounds and various levels of music ed. And the result is something quite extraordinary.”

She said: “El Sistema is building a cultural revolution here, through music education. The teachers are in the classroom every day. These are warriors for art that are on the ground giving these kids tools not only to be musicians but to learn discipline and to learn to work with others and self-esteem and confidence.”

El Sistema Greece is currently running daily music lessons with children who are living in refugee camps in the country.

Anis Barnat, the Founder of El Sistema Greece said: “There’s still the barrier of the language, because of course they don’t speak the same language. But with music we’ve actually found maybe the best way to communicate and sharing the same music, sharing the same emotions.”