The United Kingdom (encompassing the separate regions and governments of Scotland, England, Wales and N. Ireland) has a long history with Sistema in terms of both núcleo development and presenting Venezuelan ensembles...and the situation in England proper is about to change dramatically!
Canadian núcleos are some of the oldest in North America; Canadian universities have hosted the first academic conferences related to el Sistema; a national foundation presented the Símon Bolívar Orchestra in its largest venue to date and formally honoured Maestro Abreu's achievements in 2008; and a Canadian youth orchestra has set the current gold standard internationally in advocating for and securing major government funding.
the Orkidstra program will step into the limelight between March 30 and April 1st, as they co-host the Símon Bolívar String Quartet of Venezuela with the Ottawa Chamber Music Society for a symposium and performances.
Statistically speaking, the expansion of music education programming has been accompanied by a significant rise in violent activity – a warning for all against offering simplistic comparisons.
Here is something completely arbitrary, compiled in an utterly unscientifically manner bereft of statistical methodology or evaluative metrics. Ten thoughts from 2011, ten memories or developments or events or discoveries that I think might be worth mentioning
A free logic model for El Sistema programs, usage of which is governed by a Creative Commons License.
We should pay children to read great literature. It has manifest educational and social benefits. It’s not a foreign idea to be immediately despised; it was hatched in America. It’s not socialist or morally objectionable; it’s just early exposure to capitalism in that it concretely rewards effort.
In an era of great social challenge, music educators and professional musicians have by and large been relegated to the sidelines, lacking not the will but the knowledge of how to help as society has bled out in front of them.
Instruments represent the number one capital expenditure of any Sistema initiative, even very few purchase them new. The default option, the “instrument donation drive,” has evolved into a rite of passage as part of a program launch. It’s excellent publicity, and it reduces start-up costs considerably, although not entirely. There’s no such thing as a free viola: the instruments that are donated always require some degree of maintenance or repair, especially strings. Even once restored to playing condition, they continue to need constant care, especially strings. They’re also extremely fragile…especially strings
...successful corporate solicitation is the current holy grail of arts organizations. Any illusions Canadian and British groups previously held about the reliability of government funding have been utterly shattered in the last two years, and Americans never had government funding to speak of in the first place...