What Is El Sistema?
El Sistema is a tested model of how a music program can both create great musicians and dramatically change the life trajectory of hundreds of thousands of a nation’s neediest kids. Within El Sistema, the Orchestra serves as a miniature representation of a community, where many people work together with established roles and levels of responsibility to achieve a common goal. El Sistema’s approach to music education emphasizes intensive ensemble participation from the earliest stages, group and individual learning, peer teaching and a commitment to social development through excellence in music education.
El Sistema was founded in Venezuela by José Antonio Abreu over 35 years ago to serve the population of children in need of music education. Abreu wanted a way to give access to elite classical training to all who wanted, especially those of low socio-economic status.
El Sistema is therefore an untraditional music education model that really works! Even great musicians, like Gustavo Dudamel, have been trained through El Sistema. But the best part is that the focus of El Sistema is on the whole individual, not just on building virtuosity in music, so that the life of a child can truly be enriched.
The Five Fundamental Principles of El Sistema
- Social Change: The primary objective is social transformation through the pursuit of musical excellence. One happens through the other, and neither is prioritized at the expense of the other.
- Ensembles: the focus of El Sistema is the orchestra or choral experience.
- Frequency: El Sistema ensembles meet multiple times every week over extended periods.
- Accessibility: El Sistema programs are free, and are not selective in admission.
- Connectivity: Every núcleo (chapter) is linked at the urban, regional and national levels, forming a cohesive network of services and opportunities for students across the county.
El Sistema Miami
The great news is that El Sistema is in action right here in our city! El Sistema Miami (ESMIA) is an El Sistema - modeled program for our community’s children and the best resource for children and youth to gain an excellent music education through orchestral performance, resulting in phenomenal citizens and human beings. Visit the El Sistema Miami (ESMIA) pageto learn more about the program, locations, and how to sign-up a child for an incredible opportunity! And be sure to check for us on El Sistema, USA– a network of El Sistema programs throughout the nation!