Top 10 of ’11

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

Dollars and Sense Part 4 – Paying for the pipes

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

Dollars and Sense Part 3 – The Quest for Corporate Support

Govias with a logo on his back

...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...

“Five Fundamentals of El Sistema” now available online and in print – en francais aussi!

  I'm very happy to say that my formal article on The Five Fundamentals of El Sistema is now available in print in the current edition of Canadian Music Educator (53-1), the official publication of the Canadian Music Educators' Association. The editor, Ben Bolden of Queen's University, has very graciously allowed the Québec Music Educators' … Continue reading “Five Fundamentals of El Sistema” now available online and in print – en francais aussi!