Whither (wither?) the Sistema Special Interest Group?
I miss the old days, when doing a conference entailed sequencing a few heart-warming anecdotes from Venezuela, and where the only challenge was choosing the right tone and tenor to leave the audience bathed in moral elevation having heard firsthand the power of music. I particularly missed those days at 3am last Wednesday morning when … Continue reading To confer and to confront
Confronting reality will not confine, it will liberate.
ISME 2014 and the Sistema Special Interest Group have both drawn to their conclusion in Porto Alegre. Here, for your reading enjoyment, are the relative highlights. And the lowlights.
The Venezuelans don't do "conferences," they do "seminarios", their word for "high intensity short-term music camps." Making music is a central part of the experience. It's not about the teachers, it's about the kids and the music.
It is admittedly very difficult to envision music education as a whole, let alone Sistema, being embraced in some extremely conservative fiscal and philosophical environments – but not impossible. But as England has demonstrated, being reasonable, realistic and respectful has paid dividends.