The magic of music

Magic in music exists. It’s that simple. And it is not a fact because we are writing about it, but because the music has an effect on our emotions and nothing else.

Power of music

Music is emotion, it’s to say it in some way, the movement and impulse of the people. And the emotions that help the surroundings of our basic pillars on which we build our personalities. This means that the music and the emotions are found in the region of the brain and that is why music is able to provoke all types of feelings.

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Music is a language that teaches you how to express yourself. It helps you gafase your fears of communication and to show the world exactly who you are.

On the other hand, the mental development that is produced when listening to complex harmonic structures or listening to different structures which augment the intellectual capacity of the people widens the development of creativity and favors learning.

Music is a fundamental tool for parents and educators in general since it is the best vehicle to transmit any type of learning in a playful way.

The Magic Music Foundation

That’s how we arrive at the Magic Music Foundation. This foundation has been working for 15 years on creation, research, and musical pedagogy.

The most recent project of this foundation is Jacana Jacana, a project for the development of pedagogical tools for environmental education with music and art.

The foundation was born approximately ten years ago. Andrés and Janni Benavides, co-founder of the foundation, were teaching music to the kids near their home. One day, they decided to establish themselves as a foundation in order to work with kids and to be able to realize different types of cultural projects.

Music and nature

The first production of this Project is Caribbean Nature. This production is a musical and visual journey through the ecosystems of Tropical Dry Forest, Tropical Rainforest, and the mangrove and swamp ecosystem which is present along with the territory.

Inspired by the nature and ancestral cultures of the indigenous towns of the zone, they are doing workshops, research processes, and creation.

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For further detail, on the last Project, it is evident there is a whole world to be discovered. Jacana Jacana is a collective with the collaboration of biologists, musicians, artists, and researchers of the Social Sciences. The objective is to contribute to the conservation of nature and preserve the ancestral know-how that is linked to them.

Nessa Twix: What does Jacana Jacana mean?

J.Benavides: Jacana Jacana is the scientific name of a bird from the swamp, which they call water rooster or rooster from the swamp.

In order to achieve this, the idea is to achieve various objectives.

1. Strengthen the relationship of each community with its territory.

2. Recover and generate knowledge about local biodiversity.

3. Promote concrete actions that support the value, care, and maintenance of the ecosystems.


Unity makes us stronger

Nessa Twix: Why did you decide to work with collective collaboration?

J.Benavides: Currently, we, the world, are in a difficult time, it is evident that climate change is affecting our planet and that men have contributed to the destruction of our ecosystems. With the intention of generating real change that contributes to the care of our natural resources. Jacana Jacana emerged, as a collaborative work between the biologist Juanita Aldana and Juan Carlos Sanchez and us. We have been supported and advised by many friends and acquaintances that work from the social sciences. Since the perspective we should have towards nature is a socio-ecological one, we can’t separate nature from the communities that live there.

This collective work has resulted in creating an educational material on the ecosystems of the tropical forests of Colombia that through songs and drawings to teach us about the functioning and biodiversity, dry forests, rain forests and mangroves.


Nessa Twix: Why did you decide to work on the creation, research, and musical pedagogical projects?

J.Benavides: Andrés and I, we have become close to Colombian traditional music and that contributed to too many musical and human treasures. It has shown us the sense of what it means to do music in the socio-cultural context of our country. For creation, the creativity aspect is fundamental in our methodology, since it was the way to express your intuition and thoughts. We work a lot with youth and teenagers, teaching them to compose songs, this awakens their critical sense in facing reality in a positive way because when you are going to sing, the message that takes what you sing is very powerful and it’s a great responsibility.

Jacana Jacana, develops pedagogical tools that adapt, transform, and are created according to the environmental, social, and cultural context of each territory through ecology, art, and music.

The fact of doing music as a group is that it encourages you to work as a team. you have to agree, listen to others and be in harmony, it isn’t an easy job.

It is important to understand that there is a great need of taking care of, recover, appreciate and value our natural surroundings.

Jacana Jacana is focused on generating greater conscience of the importance of nature.

The idea is to strengthen the link between boys, girls, and youth with the flora and fauna. Therefore, reducing the impacts of deforestation and pollution and rescuing knowledge and ancestral traditions that contribute to the preservation of life.

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Unity makes us stronger and because of this reason, it links the scientific field, the music, and the art to work with boys, girls, and youth, offering the community artistically pedagogical process of quality that supports in a significant manner human development.

One of the most meaningful factors is the social exchange between communities, the one that allows to the creation of networks between different regions, recognizing a multi-ethnic territory, rich in human and natural resources.


Pedagogical tools

There are 5 pedagogical tools that are used to get closer to their objectives. Each and every one of them is adapted to the environmental, social, and cultural context of each region.

1. The songs of Jacana Jacana and the music: Through the research field songs for each of the ecosystems are composed. The composition is realized with elements of traditional Colombian music, especially afro-descendant music from both the Pacific and Caribbean.

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The goal of this pedagogical work is to achieve musical groups with members of different regions to sing and play in schools, communities of the whole territory.

Also in all territories where there is found a culture of musical tradition. They also work with teachers of the region to compose the songs.

Last, the interested participants develop learning of traditional instruments to accompany the songs. Instruments like chonta marimba, percussion Atlantic and Pacific, bagpipes, strings like the cuatro, tiple, among others.

2. The primers of Jacana Jacana and the camp diary: the primers contain letters of songs and are illustrated with drawings where you are able to intervene. At the end of the primers, there are blank sheets of white paper, in those which the participant bears their field diary. The objective is that exploration, observation, and reflection will become a common daily habit.

3. Artistic and ecological encounters of Jacana Jacana: the participants of different communities gather so they are able to share their ecological, musical, and artistic experiences. The objective is to tighten the links between the regions and achieve a social and cultural exchange between the participants.

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4. Going out to the field, daily use of the field, and artistic creation: through the paths of the different ecosystems, the participants are able to achieve a knowledge exchange.

5. Creation of native species garden centers using recycled materials: recollecting and separating recycled materials, the vivarium are built and installed economically, and species of native plants and trees in each territory.


The first results

And even though the pedagogical tools are important to obtain long-lasting results within the communities, there are two pedagogical products that have been achieved through the research.

The recycled material is used in a creative way for construction since the seed beds and seedlings until the structures were they are supported.

In the first place are the songs of Jacana Jacana. There are 9 songs for kids about the 3 ecosystems of the Caribbean and their biodiversity. The song of Rainforest, the song of Insects, Song of dry forest, the song of cotton-top tamarins, Song of quick stick, Song Mangle, The Song of jacana, Manatee and the Hummingbird song, the song of Reptiles.

Secondly, is the musical ecological Caribbean Nature. It is the story of a water drop that travels through the Caribbean ecosystems, living the stories that the songs of Jacana Jacana tell. Each song is written and illustrated within the book and is part of the story.

Nessa Twix: Which are your objectives in the short, medium, and long term?

J.Benavides: Short term: we are about to publish our first cd, accompanied by an educative primer. Medium-term: to be able to conduct research and create new pedagogical material about other ecosystems in Colombia and around the world.

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Nessa Twix: How do you bind the knowledge of the other people in the collective?

J.Benavides: It is the work that has emerged from friendship and sharing ideas and experiences in a spontaneous way. As when it started to work, we met in a serious way and we worked a lot with unifying ideas.

Nessa Twix: How do you work with music?

J.Benavides: Juanita and Juan Carlos advise towards the content and we create the music, a lot of times Juanita y Juan Carlos have given us great sentences for the chorus parts of the songs and key ideas for the verses.


The conclusion

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After having the opportunity to talk with Janni Benavides, it was even clearer that this type of project is really necessary. Between all of us, we are able to generate changes that are to our benefit. Our ancestral culture is the basis of our development as a society. Without it, we are nobody. Through the music and the multi-discipline collaboration, we can achieve to recover the secret, the passion that makes us autochthonous, so real, so ephemeral.

Music is an art form that has a deep impact on our lives, our development, the way we behave, and even the way we move in our surroundings. Music is like the memory of our lives that is always with us. Thanks to projects like this the Magic Music Foundation, it is possible to integrate music into development processes. And, it only remains for us to wait for these initiatives to remain in force as they are essential for our environment, society, and each of its participants and people around them.

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