Healing melodies

26 May 2021
Pierangelo Sequeri is a writer, a composer and the President of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute. He has developed a special education program for children with mental difficulties to flourish themselves through music.

Pierangelo Sequeri was born on Christmas 1944 in Milan to a family of musicians, inheriting a great passion for music. He was studying music and philosophy, was ordained priest in 1968, and obtained a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome.

His avocation as his vocation

Pierangelo Sequeri belongs to the lucky ones, whose favourite activities - theology and music – can be pursued also as a vocation: he works as musicologist at the Ambrosian Library (Biblioteca Ambrosiana) in Milan, he is a professor of sacred aesthetics at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, moreover, leads as President the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute.

He is also the author of numerous books and articles. His volumes are popular in style and written for a broader general audience on issues of institutional, philosophical and theological education, as well as on the relationship between cultural anthropology and religious experiences. The Holy Father appointed him amongst the Consultors to the Pontifical Commission for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation in 2011, and member to the International Theological Commission in 2014.

Composer of world famous songs

Pierangelo Sequeri, in addition to his theologian studies, obtained a music librarian’s diploma at the University of Urbino. He has become popular also as a composer being famous for his songs on religious themes in a sentimental style. The best known is “You are my life” from the “Symbolum 77” series that can be listened to in many languages and orchestrations on the video sharing platforms. The song was written in 1977, the title reflects both his faith and the year of the composition.

His best known classical compositions include: Bethania (a biblical sonata for violin and piano), and the Jubilee Mass, for choir and orchestra, that was broadcast on the World Vision International Humanitarian Organisation’s channel on 3 December 2000. Sequeri was also involved in the success of the Gen Verde musical group’s (an international all-woman band associated with the Focolare Movement) album "Il Mistero Pasquale" that was released in 2011. He has also been director of the quarterly musical magazine, L'Erba Musica devoted to special pedagogy and musical culture.

It is told in songs

In 1985 Pierangelo Sequeri developed a very special music education program for children and young people with mental difficulties. The method of this music therapy is to practice instrumental music in chamber or in symphonic musical groups by using a specially simplified score, musical or any other instruments and to perform public concerts. The method became widely known as “orchestral music therapy”, and in 2000 was presented with the Ambrogino d'Oro award. In 1983 he set up the Fondazione Segueri Esagramma Onlus, a centre in Milan for research, therapy and education, with the aim of enhancing and supporting the personal and relational development of all people, with a focus on the young in situations of disadvantage or with special need.

The Foundation offers rehabilitation and educational training for people with and without disabilities. The aim is to offer help to all those whose disability lies in speaking and writing, and so, as an alternative, they can use the language of music in expressing themselves. The method is based on the richness offered by the language and forms of music and arts, providing a precious opportunity for everyone’s personal development. The Esagramma Symphonic Orchestra members are musicians with and without disabilities, and they regularly perform on Italian and international stages.

Source: Linkedin, John Paul Institute, Wikipédia