El Sistema: a conception regarding the function of music within society.
Developed in Venezuela and now expanding world-wide, El Sistema empowers disadvantaged youth and their communities, using music as the tool. El Sistema-inspired programs use ensembles to teach children to play music. The children learn discipline, team work, and leadership through the practice of classical music.
The historic bridge from elitist assumptions about music to the music in CI is El Sistema, founded in Venezuela in 1975 by Maestro José Antonio Abreu. At that time Abreu and a handful of other Venezuelan musicians felt that Europeans dominated their country’s musical stage and that music instruction was affordable only to the few. They wanted to break this down. Abreu has described El Sistema as “a conception regarding the function of music within society.” It is “based,” he says, “on the notion that a free, immersive classical music education of the poorest of the poor might positively influence the social programs plaguing the country.”
Today, over 40 years later, El Sistema has inspired music-teaching artists across the world. There are now thousands of youth in El Sistema programs in the USA alone.
The central goal of Children International and the El Sistema movement is to free children from the cycle of poverty.
Children International is focused on making long-term impact by helping kids living in poverty. Their vision: graduating healthy, educated, empowered and employed young adults from their programs so they can achieve the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty.
Sally and Dick Roberts Coyote Foundation
Sally and Dick Roberts Coyote Foundation focuses on innovations in learning, enhancing intercultural and global understanding, the advancement of music, facilitating interpersonal communication and creativity, and deepening human values and human relations.
The foundation has been involved with bringing El Sistema-inspired programs to Los Angeles since 2007. We helped found the LA task force, inspired by Gustavo Dudamel who had just joined the LA Philharmonic as conductor. This task force helped support the spread of El Sistema throughout the USA and beyond.
The foundation produced I Am a Fine Musician, the first film about the pedagogy supporting El Sistema. In 2015, Roberts Coyote Foundation provided a grant to Children International for El Sistema-inspired programs in Colombia and the Dominican Republic.
Project management and production. As impact and engagement specialists, MocaMedia have been working closely with the Sally & Dick Roberts Coyote Foundation in the production of video and promotional content and its dissemination among the educational community.
Filmmaker and editor extraordinaire, Shannon found the story in the short film "I Am a Fine Musician" and brought it to life. She is to be thanked for the spirit and inspiration that the video exudes. She is also the editor behind our latest film project in the works, that will follow the story of the city of Barranquilla, Colombia, its people, its music, and the results of the El Sistema-inspired music program established there in collaboration with Children International.