Wednesday, 15 January 2014 | MYT 2:33 PM
Italian violinist strikes a chord with street kids
This picture taken on November 29, 2013, shows Italian violinist Sara Michieletto playing violin for street children at a shelter for less fortunate children in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta. AFP PHOTO
JAKARTA, Jan 15, 2014 (AFP) - A leading Italian violinist has swapped gilded concert halls for audiences of street children around the world, using music therapy to help those less fortunate.
Sara Michieletto has performed with top orchestras across Europe during an illustrious career and since 1998 has played in the first violins of the orchestra of the Fenice opera house in Venice.
But more recently the 41-year-old has played for children across the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, in Indian slums and helping street kids and orphans in Indonesia.
Soothing, classical music helps angry, traumatised youths become "emotionally aware", she said, helping them to better channel their anger and frustration.
"In the case of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, this is so important because they have faced a lot of difficult things in the past and trauma," she said.
"Music is a very powerful means of conveying emotions."
Since 2010 the violinist has been working with street children in and around the Indonesian capital Jakarta, a seething metropolis of 10 million people where many live in grinding poverty, as well as other parts of the country.