Category Archives: Blog

24 Mar

Most Successful Musical Causes

People love to donate to a good cause, especially one rooted in music. If you’re trying to get funding for your organization, there are countless ways to gain the support of those willing to help out.

5 Incredibly Successful Musical Causes

Need a little inspiration to raise money for your musical cause? The following five projects saw overwhelming success:

1. We Are the World Single

In 1985, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie collaborated to write the song “We Are the World” to raise money to help combat famine and disease in Africa. Countless household names joined in to perform the hit single together, including Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Huey Lewis and the New, Bette Midler, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Ross, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner and many more. The song achieved overwhelming success, selling more than 20 million copies worldwide.

2. VH1 Save The Music Foundation

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation was created to help restore instrumental music education in communities. So far, the foundation has bought $51 million worth of new musical instruments, made 1,900 public school donations, helped 192 school districts across the country, and touched the lives of 2.3 million people.

3. The Landfill Harmonic Documentary

Paraguayan filmmaker Alejandra Amarilla and her team created the Landfill Harmonic documentary on The Recycled Orchestra, a group of youth in the barrios of Paraguay playing musical instruments made from trash. Alejandra Amarilla raised the money to fund production costs on Kickstarter, surpassing her goal of $175,000 by 23%, ultimately raising $214,129. The additional funds donated by an overwhelming 5,000 donors were used to send the group of children on a world tour.

4. Fender Music Foundation

Known throughout the world for creating high-quality drums, Fender wanted to do something to give back. The Fender Foundation was created in 2005 and since then has helped more than 187,000 people of all ages across the country keep music in their lives. An impressive 100% of every dollar donated goes towards helping music education programs buy instruments.

5. Murder by Death Kickstarter Campaign

The Bloomington, IN group reached out to fans on Kickstarter to ask for help in funding their new album, “Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon” and their request was heard. The group garnered the support of 2,618 financial backers to raise $187,047, nearly double their original goal of $100,000.

More About Alejandra Amarilla and Her Groundbreaking Documentary

When Alejandra Amarilla first heard of The Recycled Orchestra, she was compelled to bring awareness to this amazing group of children. By donating her time and energy to creating a documentary on the youth orchestra, she was able to spread awareness for this incredible cause across the globe.

20 Mar

Paraguay’s Favorite Instrument

Music is a huge part of Paraguayan culture. Many villages do not have much in the way of material things, but residents find a way to make beautiful music that resonates throughout the streets. The two most important instruments in the country are the guitar and the harp. These are essential components of the two most popular types of music in the country, the Polka and the Guarania. Other supplementary musical instruments are needed to create supplementary sounds, but Paraguay’s most important types of music are based on these two instruments.

In fact, the Paraguayan harp is the national instrument of the country. Similar instruments are popular in other South American countries. The diatonic harp, which has between 32 to 46 strings, is constructed from tropical wood, cedar and pine and has a rounded neck-arch. The fingernail is used to play the eight to 10-pound instrument in conjunction with music sung in the Guarani language.

 Alejandra Amarilla Produces The Landfill Harmonic

Founded in Cateura, Paraguay, The Recycled Orchestra is the creation of music teacher Favio Chavez. Located in the barrios, Chavez gathered a team to search the landfill for materials that could be used to create musical instruments, as the children’s parents did not have the money to purchase them.

When Paraguayan filmmaker Alejandra Amarilla heard about this incredible story, she decided to create a team and head to the country to capture this amazing group on film. The crew started filming The Landfill Harmonic documentary back in 2010, returning in 2011 to get updates on the young musicians.

The documentary showcases the overwhelming power music has on a community and the incredible ability it has to bring people together. Thanks to the support of the people of Cateura, children living in the village have a bright future ahead of them. Not only does learning to play a musical instrument provide these bright young students a talent they can take with them anywhere in the world, it also shows them they’re capable of accomplishing anything they put their minds to.

The Recycled Orchestra Gains Worldwide Fame

As a result of the hard work and dedication of Alejandra Amarilla and her team, the entire world now knows the beautiful story of The Recycled Orchestra.

Alejandra Amarilla led an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to finance the documentary. The original fundraising goal was set at $175,000, but more than 5,000 donors touched by the caused ultimately raised $214,129 to produce the film, proving a passion for music speaks through different cultures.

16 Mar

Three Ways your Community Can Start its own Landfill Harmonic

Thanks to Alejandra Amarilla, the Landfill Harmonic has become a household name. These incredible children living in the barrios of Paraguay have become a worldwide sensation. Their story has touched the lives of millions, serving as an inspiration to everyone who watches their documentary or is fortunate enough to see them perform in person.

 If these talented children have made you think about starting your own Landfill Harmonic, you’re in luck. It is entirely possible to create a similar group in your own community.

3 Ways to Create Your Own Landfill Harmonic

Whether you’re living in an area without much extra money to purchase musical instruments or are simply inspired to start a group that makes music from recyclables, use the following three steps to get started on your dream:

1. Garner community support.

The secret to the success of the Landfill Harmonic is the supportive community behind it. It’s important to let your friends and neighbors in on your mission, as you will need a lot of help to get the group started. Seek the assistance of everyone interested ─ creative types, musicians, parents and anyone willing to work hard for an incredibly good cause.

2. Seek recyclables.

Start a recyclables drive, asking people to donate materials such as pipes, scrap metal and wood that can be used to craft instruments. You may be surprised by the materials that can be used to make beautiful-sounding musical instruments.

3. Recruit your musicians.

You can’t have a youth orchestra without any young musicians. Search for children who are interested in becoming part of the group. Do your best to include all interested kids, as you don’t want to turn any aspiring musicians away.

Alejandra Amarilla Tells the Story of the Landfill Harmonic

When the residents of Cateura, Paraguay banded together to create The Recycled Orchestra, they didn’t do it to become famous. The idea to create a youth orchestra came from a humble garbage picker with a creative mind like no other. He used his amazing talents and vivid imagination to craft musical instruments for the children from trash.

Alejandra Amarilla heard the story of this group and was instantly amazed and inspired. She wanted to do her part to support The Recycled Orchestra, so she decided to form a team and create a documentary on the orchestra. Production began in 2010, when Alejandra Amarilla and her team traveled to Paraguay to begin filming the group. They returned to shoot additional footage in 2011.

When the time came to turn the footage into the powerful documentary it is today, Alejandra Amarilla faced the challenge of a lifetime raising the funds. She took on the challenge and used the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to seek assistance, ultimately garnering the support of more than 5,000 donors and largely surpassing her goal.

14 Mar

Was the Landfill Harmonic Just a Fad?

Trends come and go every day. We see it with fashion, movies, diets and even popular phrases. However, sometimes a concept that’s introduced is so powerful that it’s here to stay ─ far from the passing fad many first wrote it off as being.

The Landfill Harmonic is here to stay. While the incredibly moving documentary from Alejandra Amarilla and her team was just released in 2013, the impact it made is permanent.

The Recycled Orchestra

Most of the time, when American children decide they’d like to play a musical instrument, their parents simply purchase or rent one. Rather than considering it a luxury, music programs are thought of as a given in most schools, which is wonderful.

However, many children in other countries aren’t nearly as fortunate. For example, most of the children of Cateura, Paraguay grew up never having seen a musical instrument, at least not one of professional grade. Located in the barrios of Paraguay, the village is essentially built on top of a landfill, which sparked the creativity of Nicolas Gomez and Favio Chavez. 

The talented garbage picker, Gomez came up with the idea to use recycled materials found in the landfill to create musical instruments for the local children to play. Chavez, a music teacher, took on the role of teacher and director of The Recycled Orchestra. Together the two created an incredible music program, giving the children of the village hope and something positive to focus on.

Support for the Landfill Harmonic

Alejandra Amarilla was instantly moved by the story of The Recycled Orchestra. She wanted to use her resources to create a documentary on the group, spreading awareness of their magic throughout the world. Filming began in 2010 and the crew returned again in 2011 to obtain additional footage.

Alejandra Amarilla created a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to produce the film and experienced overwhelming support from donors. More than 5,000 people donated a total of $214,129 to the cause, an amazing 23% above the team’s goal of $175,000. Not only did this fund production costs, it also allowed the team to have extra money to send the children of The Recycled Orchestra on a world tour.

While some may claim this incredible cause is a passing fad, it is, in fact, far from that. The hard work of Alejandra Amarilla and her team served to spread the word about this incredible community across the world. As a result, many other poverty-stricken communities are realizing their own potential. Previously, they didn’t realize their children could ever have a music program, but hearing of The Recycled Orchestra in Cateura gives them an ideal to model after and helps make a life-changing impact for their children.

09 Mar

Why the Landfill Harmonic is Here to Stay

There are a lot of great causes in the world. However, some of the most worthwhile ones never get the attention they deserve because they are unable to garner the necessary support they need.

Thankfully, the story of the Landfill Harmonic is not one of these causes. Alejandra Amarilla has secured a spot in history for this incredible children’s orchestra by providing a platform to tell their story. It’s unlikely the plight of The Recycled Orchestra would have ever left the barrios of Paraguay if she hadn’t worked tirelessly to create a documentary promoting their cause.

The World-Famous Landfill Harmonic

Children living in Cateura, Paraguay do not have the luxury of having musical instruments at their disposal. If it wasn’t for the incredible creativity of one humble garbage picker, these kids would likely never have been given the opportunity to create beautiful music.

When Alejandra Amarilla heard the story of this incredible youth orchestra, she was immediately inspired and wanted to share their journey with the world. Along with a documentary crew, she traveled to Paraguay in 2010 to capture the beauty of The Recycled Orchestra on film. After obtaining amazing footage, the filmmakers returned in 2011 for a follow-up on three young musicians who had recently joined the group.

Alejandra Amarilla and her team were then tasked with raising the funds to create the documentary, a daunting task that many filmmakers see as a long-term or even permanent roadblock. However, thanks to a lot of hard work and some savvy marketing techniques, the team was actually able to surpass their goal, as the story touched the hearts of nearly 5,000 donors.

The Landfill Harmonic is Here to Stay

As the filmmakers were able to exceed their fundraising goal, they used the extra money to send The Recycled Orchestra on a world tour. Not only does this allow people across the globe to have a front row seat to listen to the magic of this group, it also gives children from the barrios of Paraguay a chance to explore the world ─ something that they could only dream of once.

This life-changing experience is all due to the generosity of Alejandra Amarilla and her team. The documentary they created gave this children’s orchestra a platform to share their story with the world. These children live in a landfill, amid piles of garbage, without electricity and running water. Without the help of the filmmakers, they had no way to ever reach the rest of the world.

People across the globe can now purchase the documentary and learn about the incredible children’s orchestra in Cateura, Paraguay. Their story has become so overwhelmingly popular, there’s no way these wonderful children and their love for music will ever be forgotten.

06 Mar

The Negative Effects of Landfills and One Unique Solution

For most people, the landfill is a place to leave their trash. It’s dirty, it smells bad, and no one wants to stick around longer than needed to get rid of the garbage. However, for the residents of Cateura, Paraguay, the landfill is home. Most residents live among the discarded waste in the landfill, as the village is poverty stricken and people have nowhere else to go.

The Negative Effects of Landfills

While most people are opposed to the idea of spending much time in a landfill because of the overwhelmingly foul stench and the dirty nature of these places, residents living in these conditions face very serious health concerns, including:

·        Leachate: When water gets into waste broken down in the landfill, a liquid substance called leachate is formed. An incredibly toxic substance, leachate can pollute the waterways, land and groundwater.

·        Toxins: Many items left in the landfill contain harmful toxins that eventually break down into the soil and groundwater. These serve as an environmental hazard for years and years after they’re discarded.

·        Greenhouse Gas: When green waste and other organic materials are brought to the landfill, they’re covered and compacted, preventing the oxygen that breaks it down in an anaerobic process from reaching the waste. Over time, this releases methane gas, which is 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

A Unique Solution to Landfill Waste

The Landfill Harmonic, a documentary by Alejandra Amarilla, showcases the unique way the residents of Cateura, Paraguay are repurposing trash for a very good cause. Thanks to the creative mind of one very crafty garbage picker and the overwhelming support of the community, trash in Cateura is often turned into musical instruments for the town’s youth orchestra.

The Recycled Orchestra plays instruments made entirely from trash found in Cateura’s landfill. When Alejandra Amarilla heard this incredible story, she traveled to the village to create a powerful documentary, allowing their music to be heard around the world. Production began in 2010, with the team traveling to Cateura to film the youth musicians perfecting their craft. Alejandra Amarilla returned in 2011 to film updates on three new members who had recently joined the group.

To fund production costs, Alejandra Amarilla used the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter. The campaign was so powerful that more than 5,000 people donated money to the cause, ensuring that the film would be made and shared with the world. In fact, donations exceeded her initial goal of $175,000 by 23%.

The extra funds were used to send the members of The Recycled Orchestra on a world tour ─ something most of the children would never have been able to experience without the help of the documentary.

03 Mar

Can Other Countries Have Their Own Landfill Harmonics?

Thanks to Alejandra Amarilla and her team, the story of Paraguay’s Landfill Harmonic is now world famous. The incredible community of Cateura, Paraguay banded together to help create a music program for their youth with next to nothing but trash to make the instruments. Not only can this serve as an inspiration to others with so much more to work with, their story can also be duplicated in other countries.

Recycle Garbage ConceptLandfill Harmonics Across the Globe

Sadly, thousands of communities across the globe are poverty stricken. Similarly to Cateura, the residents of these villages do not have the money to purchase basic life necessities, so acquiring fancy musical instruments is completely out of the question. These people are forced to make do with what they have, but thanks to the Landfill Harmonic documentary, that just got a whole lot better.

While other countries may not have been the first to come up with the idea of creating musical instruments from trash and other recycled materials, they can certainly follow suit. This incredible Landfill Harmonic documentary, created by Alejandra Amarilla and her team, can serve as an inspiration to these communities.

Music is such an important part of many cultures in the world. The ability to listen and make music can change lives. People living in poverty may never have realized they have the ability to make musical instruments from materials they have access to for free. The documentary spreads awareness that, with a little bit of creativity, magic can be made.

Hopefully Landfill Harmonic orchestras will begin to appear across the world, showcasing the impact music can have on a community. Not only does learning to play an instrument give children a chance at a whole new future, it also brings positivity to their lives, which is often much needed. When children are focused on making beautiful music, they’re channeling their energy into something so very positive rather than heading down a dark and dodgy path often seen as the only route in many areas.

Spreading the Story of the Landfill Harmonic

It took Alejandra Amarilla and her team several years to obtain the footage needed to tell the story of the Landfill Harmonic. The team traveled to Paraguay in 2010 to begin capturing the story of this incredible youth orchestra on film. They returned in 2011 for a follow-up of three new members in addition to subsequent visits afterwards.

Aside from traveling to Cateura to film the youth orchestra, Alejandra Amarilla was tasked with raising the funds to produce the documentary. She accepted the challenge and ultimately exceeded her fundraising goal by 23% using the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. The story of The Recycled Orchestra garnered the attention of more than 5,000 donors, who helped make production a resounding success.