Posts Tagged ‘el sistema’

Here is another great music outreach to kids: the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s Tune up Philly initiative.

“The mission of Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s Tune Up Philly program is to nurture urban children in challenging social and economic conditions by keeping them engaged in success through weekday out-of-school hours music instruction.  Through its Tune Up Philly program, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra organization believes that music education is a powerful vehicle for children to master skills that will enable them to acquire valuable tools for cooperative learning, teamwork, academic success and self-esteem.” More.

The Inquirer classical music critic Peter Dobrin wrote at Philly.com that an important goal of the initial program was to show the rest of the city what is possible.

“The brain-child of 24-year-old Curtis Institute of Music graduate Stanford Thompson … and adopted by the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Tune Up Philly started at St. Francis de Sales … with the aim of replicating itself at other sites …

“Modeled on the widely praised and emulated El Sistema program that has educated millions of children in Venezuela, Philadelphia’s upstart is already gathering considerable support. Since initial coverage in the Inquirer and subsequent media attention, the program has received donations of cellos, clarinets, double basses, flutes, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, violas, violins and other instruments, plus about $13,000 in cash and $10,000 in in-kind services.” More.

Photograph: First graders exploring xylophones in the 2012 summer program.

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I’ve been meaning to blog about the wildly successful music-education program out of Venezuela, El Sistema.

Here music critic Mark Swed follows the L.A. Philharmonic to Caracas and writes about El Sistema for the Los Angeles Times.

“Musically, Venezuela is like no other place on Earth. Along with baseball and beauty pageants, classical music is one of the country’s greatest passions.

“In the capital, Caracas, superstar Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel is mobbed wherever he goes. Classical music teeny-boppers run up to him for autographs when he walks off the podium at concerts. The state-run music education program, which is known as El Sistema and from which Dudamel emerged, is the most extensive, admired and increasingly imitated in the world. One of its nearly 300 music schools for children, or núcleos, is deep in the Venezuelan Amazon, reachable only by boat. …

“The basic tenet of José Antonio Abreu, the revered founder of El Sistema, is the universal aspect of music. He likes to say that music is a human right. That’s an effective, politically expedient slogan. But what he has demonstrated on a greater scale than ever before is that music is not so much a right as a given. El Sistema is not about talent, ingeniously effective system though it may be for discovering and fostering musical talent. The truly revolutionary aspect of El Sistema is its proof that everyone has a capacity for music.”

Read about how El Sistema has spread worldwide in the Los Angeles Times.

Children at La Rinconada in Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 14, 2012. Gustavo Dudamel, right, among students at a showcase of El Sistema in Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 15. Photograph: Mark Swed / Los Angeles Times

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