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|The Music Goes to Heaven
November 14, 2011 -Idyli Tsakiri
Musician, father of two and above all human, Ilias Sakalak, his magical cello and the rest of the Musicians for Children visit the Aglaia Kyriakou Children's Hospital once a week, and take the kids for a musical trip far from the solemn, sterile environment of the hospital.
Sakalak, instigator of the Musicians for Children, wants to widen the children's imagination and make them forget about the problems that they face at the hospital, so far as he can. And he hopes that music will eventually be their partner in their subsequent life.
"It's not as simple as it sounds," he said. "We don't just go to a hospital and perform. Music is a tool that can take people away from reality and so it can be a tool for hospitalized children as well."
"This cello is magical, it can talk to you. Don't you believe me? Ask it something and see for your self." Sakalak makes the cello sound like it could talk and the children, amazed, start talking to it.
Other kids prefer to conduct the quartet of Sakalak, violinists Nasos Martzoukos and Elena Tavatzi, and violist Laurentiu Matasaru – so the musicians give them magic pencils and the kids become conductors.
A girl around the age of 10 once wrote something above her drawing: "The music goes to heaven, like I do." Sakalak sees that as a lesson taught to him by a little girl: "People say that a picture is a thousand words. In this case few words are millions of pictures."
For the musicians the reward for what they do is the "thank you" that they hear from the parents of the kids, and the feeling that they have made the children happier. They do it all voluntarily and don't want any profit.
The Musicians for Children have stopped their visits because of a health problem of a member, but will be back as soon as possible.Ilias Sakalak: cello
Nasos Martzoukos: first violin
Elena Tavatzi: second violin
Laurentiu Matasaru: viola
Valia Alexiou: photography and public relations