El Sistema

Orchestras play classical music for the youth in favelas

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Av. Bolívar. Parque Central, Torre Oeste, piso 18 Caracas Distrito Capital
VE Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Web http://www.fesnojiv.gob.ve/
Maturity

Mature

About the project Edit

What possible future is there for kids who grow up in the slums of Caracas, who face poverty and gang violence on a daily basis? Seven little notes, decreed José Antonio Abreu, head of the visionary orchestra, economist and politician.
Venezuela has been developing for many years a social plan that puts music education, learning and playing an instrument in the foreground. This revolutionary educational system was created in 1975: the "Fundacion del Estado para el Sistema de Orquestra Juvenil e Infantil de Venezuela" (El sistema). A state initiative, which is linked to the visionary work of economist, conductor and politician, José Antonio Abreu, who became Minister of Culture in 1988. He created the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela by offering the less fortunate and all others, from the age of two, the practice of classical music.

Through the Sistema, Venezuela with a population of 22 million has 250,000 youth involved in 125 orchestras, as well as 36 professional symphony orchestras, 15 000 music teachers and 136 training centres and conservatories. 90% of them are from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Each child wishing to play an instrument is assigned a tutor and can start practising, very shortly, for several hours a day. The youngest are in "paper orchestras", they are given fake instruments, but learn the basics of music. The oldest have hopes of being admitted to the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, the last step of Sistema, which now occurs throughout the world, headed by Gustavo Dudamel, 28, a product of this great social enterprise, also became music director of the LA Philharmonic Orchestra.

Themes

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

El Sistema is a unique example of how music and art are being used to counter the abuse of gangs in "barrios", in the poorest neighbourhoods, which been abandoned by the government. All children are welcome free of charge and follow the same method, which is above all, learning to play together. Classical music becomes the instrument of education and solidarity, a place where the poorest can take refuge, grow and build.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The added value of this social activity and solidarity is huge - it saves children. The music program offers a practical response to poverty and fate. In addition, drawn to music, street children become aware of their condition, see a future, get involved in music from a positive perspective full of emotion and discovery, hope and encounters, work spirit and achievement. Music and citizens - the future of music.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The El Sistema program has high potential for development in other countries that face high poverty rates. Note: El sistema receives considerable support from government agencies in Venezuela. It has transformed itself over the years into a true social plan, it now receives state support and its influence is growing throughout the country.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit


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