Violinist in Peru makes instruments from recycled rubbish for children to play

29 November 2021, 17:09 | Updated: 29 December 2021, 12:31

Peruvian music teacher makes and successfully plays instruments out of recycled materials for low-income children

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

This professional violinist and music teacher is sharing his love of music with the children of Lima, Peru, by creating cheaper violins made from recycled materials.

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Jesús Peralta is a music teacher who makes violins out of plastic bottles, caps, and plywood, in his home town of Lima, Peru.

The 68-year-old professional violinist, turned carpenter, claims that due to the rising price of instruments, the only way of getting instruments into the hands of future musicians, is to build them himself.

In his home workshop, Peralta can build his ‘Bottlephone Violin’ for an average of just £15. Buying a real violin in Peru would cost much more for a beginner instrument.

Peralta’s decades-long career has seen him perform with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, and has been conducted by Claudio Abbado and Gustavo Dudamel.

Read more: A tiny, 4-inch violin leaves Spain’s Got Talent viewers spellbound

Jesús Peralta makes the violins out of recycled materials
Jesús Peralta makes the violins out of recycled materials. Picture: Getty

In 2012, Peralta founded Los Violines De San Juan, which provides free group violin lessons to young students in one of Lima’s Pueblos Jóvenes (meaning young towns), San Juan de Miraflores.

Around 6.9 million Peruvians live below Peru’s poverty line, and San Juan de Miraflores is one of the most deprived areas of the country’s capital. The town is reported to be one of the most dangerous in Lima.

A 2018 report by TECHO – a nonprofit organisation fighting extreme poverty in Latin America – found that nine out of 10 homes in San Juan de Miraflores had neither safe access to the public water supply network, nor a connection to the drainage network.

At the time of the report publication, the social director of TECHO-Peru Jonathan Rossi said: “The absence of solutions to the basic needs of a resident in the district of San Juan de Miraflores is a clear state of alert, a violation of rights and evidence of the lack of a good quality of life for Peruvians.”

Read more: 12,000 Venezuelan musicians perform Tchaikovsky to set ‘world’s largest orchestra’ record

Peralta in his home workshop
Peralta in his home workshop. Picture: Getty

Many of the students who attend Los Violines De San Juan walk miles in order to attend their Sunday group lesson with Peralta.

Showcasing his new bottlephone violin invention, Peralta said in a Facebook video: “When you love music, there should be no obstacles to prevent you from spreading it.”

And this is exactly why Peralta created the cheaper violin, so he could continue sharing his love of music with the next generation, regardless of financial barriers.

One reviewer on the Los Violines De San Juan Facebook page describes the musician as “a hero without a cape”, and we’re going to have to agree with them. Bravo, Jesús Peralta, we look forward to seeing your continuing legacy through the performances of your students.

Gracias Padre Celestial, por el "Reencuentro con mis chicos de LOS VIOLINES DE SAN JUAN". Gracias TELE MUNDO Gracias FRECUENCIA LATINA Gracias Chicos y Padres de Familia, Todos juntos, con nuestros seguidores y con el público en general, llegaremos a más niños y jóvenes en todo el Perú, con el apoyo del INPE a través de sus Cárceles Productivas y la asociación ESTANDARES, forjadores de la Educación y la Cultura de Carlos Levano Sarmiento .

Posted by Jesús Peralta Chunga on Saturday, October 9, 2021