Venezuela is using its renown classical music program to help fetal development among expecting mothers as part of a new hospital project, according to media reports on Tuesday.
The National Network of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela (FESNOJIV), more commonly known as The System, was created in 1975 as a way to educate youth and reduce violence in the country through classical music.
“A child clutching a musical instrument is a child who never wields a weapon,” said the group’s conductor, Leonardo Mendez.
The System and public hospitals are now reaching out to an even younger audience, and embracing what is known about child development that fetuses can hear three months before birth.
The music is both relaxing for expecting mothers, and meant to entice babies into the world of music, and to stay away from violence.
Venezuela has long been considered among one of the most dangerous countries in the world. In 2013, it was named the most violent country in Latin America, while a United Nations report from 2010 named it among the top four most murderous countries in the world.
The System has typically attracted youth that come from a poor socio-economic background. Since its inauguration, it has trained some 2.5 million children.