Meet Annita Matzourani, Head of Connect by Music in Lesvos. Annita is a professional guitar teacher who gives guitar lessons at multiple locations on the Island including the -Kara Tepe Hospitality Centre and- the RIC Moria refugee camp. She supervises the CBM teachers’ team and represents CBM in Lesvos.
She absolutely loves her job. Giving guitar lessons is a way for her to transfer to her students the love she feels for the instrument and most of all the love she feels for people and life.
What she likes most about her job in the refugee camps is the psychological aspect that is more present here than in an ordinary classroom situation.
As Annita works with ‘smaller’ groups of 15 students maximum, she really gets to know her students. It gives her the opportunity to really connect with them. ‘Communicating with children and working with them on a daily basis keeps you young’, Annita says. It’s important to somehow stay in tune so you can relate to each other, which is another thing she loves about her job.
After a day’s work, Annita likes to have a drink with friends, or take her dogs for a walk. It’s the simple things Annita appreciates the most in life. After a full day of music teaching, she likes to compose music as well.
When we asked Annita to describe CBM in one word, she says: ‘tons and tons of emotion’. She feels that CBM gave her the opportunity to open her heart and mind to the fact that if the cards were stacked differently, she could have been in the same situation. One of the characteristics that defines her as a person is the gratitude she shows for the good and the bad moments, and the growing respect and love for one another. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
For Annita, the best effect that CBM music program has on her students is the love and connection it creates between them. The way the program provides a safe environment for the children to learn something, and to be taken out of their daily life so support can be given through our music program. They can share their thoughts and emotions with no questions asked. The children express their appreciation in different ways, for instance in the respect they show in the classroom by helping and taking part of the responsibility in maintaining a clean work space or giving self made gifts.
This year CBM organized 6 concerts with all the students from different locations. Annita explains that by creating a sense of ‘family’ and warmth within the organization, the students are motivated to be a part of the family, and they were all happy and proud to attend the concert. The effect the concert had was beautiful. By giving the students a place to shine and by offering them a unique experience they became more aware of themselves, felt that they are worth the attention and that they matter.
What drives Annita to get out of bed every day? It’s important to her to be able to express the love she has for other people because she’s very warm hearted by nature. Her students and the results she can achieve with them are also big part of her source of energy.
All things taken together, she’s a teacher who is grateful to be able to combine what comes natural to her with what she loves most: people and making music.
Inspired by Annita? Read more about our projects.