High Notes: Summer Highlights, A New Year of Programming, and Much More!

COVID19 has changed the world for all of us and the way children learn has had one of the largest shifts in normalcy. We continue to pursue our mission beyond close contact, to use music as an instrument for social transformation, empowering children to acquire values and achieve their full potential! Although we are physically separated we continue to be socially connected through the creative use of technology and of course, music. See highlights from the summer, what the next few months hold in store for us and organizational news for our community.

Miami Music Project Partnership Deliver Great Success Stories

Through the synergy and collaboration of three organizations, El Sistema USA, Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University and Miami Music Project, Edric Vivoni is the 2020 ESUSA Peabody Scholarship recipient! Edric was given access to orchestral education through Miami Music Project, polished and improved his skills through our partnership with Interlochen Center For The Arts, and is now on a full scholarship at the Peabody Conservatory thanks to a partnership with El Sistema USA. This is a perfect example of how programs like these in collaboration can give access to young people with an amazing, untapped potential. Edric used every opportunity to shine. Edric says, "Helping others and collaborating with the members of my community is extremely valuable. I am truly grateful for the support Miami Music Project and El Sistema [USA] have given me to continue doing what I am passionate about as well as all the amazing opportunities I've been able to be part of during the past few years that have allowed me to make friends and connections with people from all over the world." Congratulations Edric!

Taking Action Towards Racial Equity

This past summer we partnered with ReEnvision Harmony and Social Equity to bring their Discomfort Discourse series to our community. We hosted a variety of panelists, community and business leaders, members of the faith community as well as artists and art champions. It is no secret that there is a disparity in opportunities for Black and Brown children with untapped potential in the arts and beyond. It is why we understood we needed to have difficult discussions about race and equity. Our board member Nicole Henry said it best "Discomfort helps us grow." If you'd like to watch them they are up on our Facebook page. Here are the links to the each one:

  1. The History of Racism Why We Say "Black Lives Matter"
  2. Implicit Bias and Antiracism
  3. Time for a Change How You Can Be an Ally

Please let us know what you thought of the series! We look forward to having more uncomfortable yet meaningful conversations. Thanks to our media partner The Miami Herald and our co-sponsor and organizer Harris Public Relations for their instrumental work in ensuring the series was a success!

Music Education Webinar Series with El Sistema USA

In preparation for summer programming Music Education Director, Robert Saunders and President, Anna Klimala, worked hard in partnership with El Sistema USA and Monique Van Willingh, Director of the Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at Longy School of Music at Bard College, to develop a comprehensive
to help fill the gaps and empower programs to continue their musical education through the pandemic.

Our music education director Robert Saunders wrote "The result of these efforts [was] a series of Zoom webinars about Sistema programming online, offered to El Sistema USA members and sponsored by El Sistema USA in collaboration with the Longy MAT Program. These webinars focus[ed] on student learning and youth engagement during the summer." Read more here. 

If you are an El Sistema Member you can access the webinars here:

1) Setting up an Online Summer Program Structure for Your Organization Using Zoom
2) Virtual Classrooms & Synchronous Learning

The challenges of this pandemic has pushed us all to rely on our relationships, lean on partnerships and streamline synergies to ensure we can make the most of it. We look forward to seeing the continued results of these project collaborations.

Physically Distant but Socially CONNECTED

Thanks to a very generous donor twelve lucky students were able to gain access to digital programming with a brand new Macbook Air 13! According to government statistic, among children ages 3-18, 17% live in households without a laptop or desktop computer. Given the challenges with the COVID19 pandemic moving all learning online in Miami-Dade County, as well as our programming happening virtually, this donation can go a very long way in ensuring students stay connected and educated.

We are so grateful for these generous donations!

44% of our students are of Hispanic or Latinx descent and the vast majority of our Teaching Artists are as well. Miami has a large Hispanic and Latinx/o/e community and we welcome every opportunity to tap into the cultural potential of the Latin American community. During Hispanic Heritage Month we will continue to share stories, accomplishments and art from Latin American musicians and stake holders of our program. Catch the stories on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Parent Orientation Online

Part One: If you missed our parent orientation here is the recorded session for the Little Haiti and Liberty City community. No matter what chapter you child attends this orientation will give you all the information you need to get the most out of our program.

Part Two: In this video our amazing staff will teach Parents and Students how to navigate our Google Classroom and how to use Contract Room to complete each student's paperwork for the upcoming year.

registration flyer, child holding violin, contact info
It is NOT too late to register for Fall 2020 programming! Register today, and share with a friend!

Help Fund Musical Education

Your continued support can help provide a transformative experience of music education to children. DONATE TODAY, and help bring musical magic to communities with untapped potential!

Donate online or text "GIVE" to 786-288-0026 and follow prompts on your phone screen.

You can also create a Facebook fundraiser here.


Introducing Miami Music ProjectCONNECT

Miami Music ProjectCONNECT, a new virtual music education initiative spearheaded as a response to closures of schools and stay-at-home orders.

The program provides Miami's underserved youth with impactful musical experiences during times of crisis, teaching them harmony literally and figuratively through building their skills and confidence needed for success in life.

With the continued support of our donors and our community, we can continue to invest in Miami’s youth and their future, providing them with hope and the tools needed for success. Together, even during times like these, we can show that Miami isn't just a city, but a community and a family. Even when we're isolated, we are still connected through the social transformation that music brings.

From their homes and communities to yours,
here is how we are serving our students and their families during this unprecedented time in our history.

Meeting them where they are... online!

A little over two weeks ago, we took on the challenge of converting our entire after-school program to a virtual, multi-site, online learning hub. All of this is to ensure our students can continue learning and becoming instruments of change for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Last week alone, 235 students logged in, with each student averaging 6 hours of instruction across five online learning hubs, totaling close to 240 individual and group classes!

Giving them tools needed to succeed!

When the schools suddenly closed in the immediate wake of the pandemic, many of our students did not have a chance to take their instruments home. We've worked with the schools' administration to organize instrument distribution in each program location so that the learning can continue. And when pick up by a family was not possible, we delivered with love too!

Having a team committed to serving!

Our programming staff has been going above and beyond, lending a helping hand in our communities, and making sure our students are able to engage in their virtual music learning.

Serving those with the fewest resources and greatest need is our mission. We are honored to be able to continue to do that for hundreds of our families daily.

Family Spotlight

Kimberley Muhammad with her daughter Saniyyah (left) and son Saleem (right)

"This has been a very trying time for my family. I am also a teacher and am trying to keep my students on track remotely, as well as taking care of my own children and, beyond education, keeping everyone emotionally well and encouraged.

Since this pandemic started with the cancelling of my kids' concerts and several other activities, we were all feeling down and unsure of the future. It has been difficult for them socially because they already attended a small school, and Miami Music Project is a big outlet for them socially as well as musically.

Thank you all so much for starting the online program! It has added the social and emotional connection back to their lives. Being able to see their friends helps them to know that they are not alone and can look forward to a bright future on the other side of this!"