If you could measure the activity of Orange House; the frequency of movement through its halls, the pitch of its chatter, music would be the best medium. Most days start slow—perhaps the only sounds emitted come from an early morning conversation, or a faint song from a beneficiary’s phone. As activity picks up, and more familiar faces stream through our doors, you can hear the soft strum of a guitar, resounding taps against its body, and a rounded voice carefully bring to life the words of a ballad from one’s homeland. As these sounds fill the room, our volunteers mill about and our beneficiaries enjoy their lunches while conversing with friends. Music teaching and making provides us the ability to pursue our mission to build a multicultural, generational community by integrating elements of new and old, all the while savoring in the comfort of a intimate environment.
Continuing with our passion to cultivate knowledge-sharing, we offer a series of classes that incorporate different cultural and artistic elements in skills building. Our Arab-Iranian dance classes, taught by an Orange House resident, provide lessons in belly-dancing, a dance widely popular throughout the Middle East. Classes require intense
physical exercise while enjoying classic and popular Middle Eastern dance hits. These evening lessons include Orange House residents, volunteers, and women from various parts of Athens. Our interest in the arts doesn’t stop there however, as we also provide lessons in piano, guitar, and disc-jockeying. Our teachers patiently work with students in tight-knit groups and teach music composition while also having fun in exploring new sounds.
Orange House is a space established, in part, for knowledge sharing and acquisition. To do so, it is imperative that we cultivate a trusting, comfortable, and enjoyable environment for individuals and groups to learn in. Not only do our opportunities for music learning and making accomplish this, but they also enable our beneficiaries to explore their passions, be creative, and play around in a welcoming place.