Juan Carlos Maggiorani, a violinist from Venezuela, is Artistic Director at Orquestra Geração, a Sistema programme in Portugal. We are delighted to announce that he is returning to work with the Young Leaders orchestra as a violin teacher and consulting artist during their August residency. He has also been recently elected to the board of Sistema Europe. We congratulate Juan Carlos and his wife Sandra (a viola teacher at Geração) on the birth of their twin girls!

How can music change the world?
Good musicians learn to always give their best. I teach my students to be disciplined, responsible and committed… not only in music, but also at school and with their family and friends. Every little musical achievement can help us grow and become better people that work, united around music, for a better world. In Orquestra Geração we say that ‘we don’t only make music, we make better lives’.

What do you love the most about your job?
The possibility of using music to guide our students towards a better future, helping them become better people and encouraging them to face life, to not quit school and to work towards a profession (which does not need to be in music, by the way).

What keeps you up at night?
I am always seeking to learn more, to achieve even better results and to become a better teacher.

Tell us about an inspiring moment with your students…
Our first concert at Geração. We began the programme in our first ‘nucleo’ with just 15 students. A few weeks later we had our first performance. When the children came on stage you could tell they were all a bit scared. But when the audience erupted in applause you could see the happiness, confidence and satisfaction in the children’s faces. This memory keeps me going. Some of these children are now mentors and are working to become teachers.

Your teaching tips for the day?
Be happy and make your students happy. Listen to them and to your colleagues. Be open to try new strategies. Keep active and look for new ideas. Learn from your mistakes and be a good team player.

What’s on the horizon?
Our main goal now is to enrich our methodology with the experiences of teachers, students and music from Portugal, Venezuela, Africa and other countries. We are working to join ideas and methods in order to re-think our methodology. We welcome ideas from everywhere. We are hoping to start seeing results and discussing impact in the next two years.

The best piece of advice you’ve received?
Play and strive for your goals and dreams.