Why Music?

Music as a Vehicle for Social Change

Helping children unlock the intellectual potential for academic achievement and gain the self-confidence needed to succeed, ultimately overcoming the disadvantages of poverty and inequality.
Music education accelerates brain development, increases academic success, and fosters significant lifelong benefits for those who have access.

What The Experts Say

“We found that over the course of a year, Miami Music Project students statistically significantly improved in grit, in their sense of resilience in the face of challenges, their sense of empathy, their feelings of connection, and their feelings of goal-directed hope.”
Michelle M. Hospital, PhD, LMHC, BBA
Associate Director, CBRI
Community Engagement Core Leader, FIU-RCMI
Research Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics
Florida International University

Project TREBLE (Testing Resilience in an EnsembleBased Learning Environment) – a comprehensive longitudinal evaluation of Miami Music Project. 

Funded by the Ware Foundation, Project TREBLE has recently completed a longitudinal study which examined the impact of participation in the Miami Music Project on positive youth development.

Led by Dr. Michelle Hospital, Project TREBLE represents the first comprehensive longitudinal evaluation of an El Sistema‐ inspired program in the United States. Miami Music Project’s El Sistema-inspired ensemble‐based orchestral musical education programming promotes three critical features recognized as optimal for positive youth development programs:

  1. Positive adult‐youth relationships.
  2. Activities that build skills.
  3. Opportunities for youth to utilize these skills in community activities (Lerner, 2004).

Reported Skills Improvements

Research shows dramatic improvement in students’ skills as a result of participating in Miami Music Project’s programs.

94% Increase
in Confidence
93% Increase
in Cooperation
92% Increase
in Concentration
96% Increase in
93% Increase
in Creativity
94% Increase
in Determination
93% Better
89% Better
93% Increase in
92% Increase
in Self-Esteem

We empower hundreds of children through music.
Discover the power of music and its impact on a child’s development.

The values of community, teamwork, responsibility, and mutual respect are embedded in classical musical training and performance.

Children exhibit more pro-social behavior as they practice and perform music because they see themselves as capable of 
and responsible for creating positive outcomes. 

What The Experts Say

“Children can attain high achievements due to their participation in the arts. They are better prepared to manage stressful situations at school, better prepared for work-life, and gain a strong commitment to civic engagement.”
Arts Education Partnership
Preparing Students for the Next America,
The Benefits of an Arts Education

Music education has been linked to:

Positive Outlet for Self-Expression

(National Association for Music Education)

Improved Test Scores

(Johnson and Memmott, 2006)

Lower Rates of Substance Use

(Hohmann, 2017)

Improved Attendance and Resilience

(Eason and Johnson, 2013)

Increased Language Development, Speech Perception, and Reading Skills

(Standley, 2008; Pitts, 2016)

Higher GPA

(Cabanac and Perlovsky, 2013)

Stronger Special Reasoning Skills

(National Association for Music Education)

Elevated Self-Esteem

(International Journal of Music Education, 2013)

Stronger Interpersonal Skills

(Parker, 2014)

Improved Positive Sense of Self and One’s Role in the Community

(Hearing the Music, Honing the Mind, 2010)

Neural Growth

(Hyde, K. L., J., Norton, A., Forgeard, M., Winner, E. Evans, A. C., and Schlaugh, G., 2009)

Success In Society

(International Journal of Music Education, Hallam, 2010)

The rigorous process of learning how to play a musical instrument also enhances the development of critical life skills such as discipline, self-control, patience, and perseverance.

¹ (Arts Education Partnership. Preparing Students for the Next America, The Benefits of an Arts Education)

El Sistema 

Miami Music Project is inspired by the El Sistema philosophy as a path to social change through music. El Sistema, which is one of the most exciting initiatives in educational reform today, is a visionary global movement that transforms the lives of children through music. 

Founded in 1974 by economist and professional musician, Jose Antonio Abreu, El Sistema launched as a free program in classical music for young children from highly impoverished backgrounds in Venezuela. Since then, El Sistema has led to improvements in the social conditions of millions of children worldwide becoming a new model for social change through music and a visionary global movement that transforms the lives of children and the communities in which they live. Great musicians, like Gustavo Dudamel, Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, have been trained through El Sistema, but the best thing is that the music program’s focus is on the whole individual, not just on musical skill.

El Sistema Miami®

As Miami’s only El Sistema-modeled orchestra program, Miami Music Project has achieved national prominence as one of the largest programs of its kind.

El Sistema Miami® aims to enable Miami’s children and youth to acquire values to achieve their full potential, positively affecting their family life and community through the study and performance of music. Under the umbrella of El Sistema Miami, Miami Music Project operates numerous socially transformative music education initiatives.

With El Sistema Miami® social change through music can be achieved, following the El Sistema philosophy. Our vision is to see children, especially in under-resourced communities, gain an opportunity to enrich their lives through music. Music education is accomplished through ensemble-based activities, including orchestra participation, group lessons, and peer mentoring. The main objective of the program is to create not only great musicians but most of all outstanding human beings and citizens.

Instruments of Inspiration

“In the past, art was a matter of minorities for minorities; then it became a matter of minorities for majorities. Nowadays it is a matter of majorities and a key element in educating and allowing people to integrate successfully into society.”
Jose Antonio Abreu
El Sistema Founder