29 de March de 2024

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Within Ramacrisna: Discover Felipe Fernandes’ Journey

Growing up, Felipe Fernandes had a distinguished neighbor: the Ramacrisna Institute. His father, José do Carmo, worked as a gardener for the organization, ensuring that the family had a close connection to the institution.

When Felipe started attending school, his father enrolled him in the Ramacrisna Center for Educational Support (CAER). It was where the boy spent his after-school hours.

As Felipe matured into adolescence, he began learning to play a musical instrument. That’s when he discovered the cello, a discovery that would change his life forever. Today, he shares his passion for music with children and teenagers, all within the Ramacrisna Institute. Let’s delve into his story.

Childhood at Ramacrisna

Thanks to his father, Felipe became involved with Ramacrisna at a young age. Alongside his regular studies, he also participated in the institution’s workshops. “That’s where I started frequenting Ramacrisna; I would go straight from school to the Institute for activities,” he recalls.

At CAER, Felipe played, engaged in sports, received academic support, and even took music lessons. It was during this time that his father proposed something significant to the growing teenager, involving the Ramacrisna Philharmonic Orchestra.

“One day he came home, called me, and asked if I wanted to join the Orchestra. Without understanding much, not knowing what an Orchestra was, I asked him what it meant, and he simply said it was playing an instrument. I asked, ‘playing what?’ He replied: the violin. No one in my family is a musician or plays an instrument… I thought about it and ended up accepting,” he recounts.

The next day, his father took him to the Orchestra. Soon after, the lessons began. Although Felipe initially tried to dedicate himself to playing the violin, the instrument didn’t captivate him. “Within a week, I wasn’t excited anymore; I said I didn’t want to play the violin anymore and almost gave up on the project. That’s when Maestro Sebastião introduced me to the cello, hoping I would like it. He didn’t want me to give up. When he played the cello’s G string, my ear caught the sound, and I knew that was the instrument I wanted to learn. That’s when I started studying the cello, developing a liking for it and seeking to understand how it worked,” he explains.

And he never looked back. Felipe fell in love with the cello and found himself in music. “Music means a lot to me; when I’m playing, it makes me feel good, it makes me happy,” he emphasizes.

A Decade of Music

Over a decade later, Felipe continues his journey with the Ramacrisna Orchestra. During this time, he has fulfilled many dreams. “I still have much to learn, but during more than 10 years in the Orchestra, I was accepted to play with the Betim Symphony Orchestra, traveled with other orchestras, played in wedding groups, and realized a dream of playing in the Sala Minas Gerais, where only the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra performs,” he proudly states.

Then came a surprise: he was invited to become an instructor in the project. For him, this proposal signified recognition of his effort in music. Without hesitation, he accepted.

“The experience is very different from when I was a student. As an instructor, I can help, teach, show young people this path of music. It’s incredible, it’s very rewarding. I’m very grateful to the Ramacrisna Institute for the opportunity I had and am having. I hope to give my best to further help the project and see the students have these experiences that I had over these years,” he expresses.

Felipe hasn’t neglected his studies and continues to refine his talent. His wish is for music to remain his profession in the future. “To live off what I love doing, playing in great orchestras, and traveling the world performing,” he dreams.

Like Felipe, more than two million people have been able to realize their dreams thanks to the Ramacrisna Institute. To continue transforming more lives, they need your help. Discover our projects and make your donation today.


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