Ecuador's Music for Life program that AAI supports by facilitating the donation of musical instruments by the Inter-American Development Bank, was a treat for the ears.
The school provides a musical education to children from families with very limited resources who would otherwise not have the opportunity.
It was fascinating to watch children as young as six working alone or with a mentor (often a musician with the country's Youth Orchestra) in sound-proofed booths. The cacophony I expected before I entered the school turned into the faint sounds of well-played violins, flutes, clarinets and the gorgeously rich sound of cellos reaching me through the doors of the booths.
One child of about eight, meditatively leaning on his cello waiting for a lesson to complete behind a classroom door, illustrated the school's notion of teaching children discipline and patience.
Although the children come from under-privileged homes, studies have shown that by learning to play a musical instrument their chances of reaching university level increase by 10%.