Expecting a large ensemble to improvise as successfully as a jazz quintet is ludicrous.
If you don't like the politicization of El Sistema in Venezuela, there is something you can do about it.
Is the orchestra the best medium for social action through music?
Can Sistema save the Symphony?
And now for something completely different: a little ray of Mexican sunshine to warm your January
Music cannot be single purpose. The social element it offers is critical, but it's not the only one of importance or value.
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.
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.
There's a fundamental biological connection between external physicality and internal feeling, and what's more, the relationship isn't unidirectional. Further research into embodied cognition seems to indicate that thought or emotion motivates physiological response - to the extent of effecting even how we sit in a chair - as much as the inverse.