Read more about El Sistema and our programs.
Here we share stories about the children, teachers, and staff in Children International's El Sistema-inspired programming.
I have always believed that music becomes life in our lives; it is fresh water in the middle of barren land.It is incredible how every child in the program has discovered in themselves a voice that tells them “you can”, despite the negative life experiences they have endured. How have I noticed this? When I started the program I met different boys and girls with very rough backgrounds. It was almost impossible for them to talk about them. However, in those moments, the silence, the tears of pain in their faces, they would find their voice. For me, it was not an easy reality to confront. It was impossible for me to fathom that this could happen. But it was happening, and at only two kilometers from where I live.
No human being is codified to come into the world to be an island, but there are circumstances that could at least make someone half an island. “The fatherland is childhood,” said Baudelaire; this is true not only for poetry but also for people, who have the potential to be happy or not. One of the worst experiences a child can suffer is rejection. Very often, either consciously or unconsciously, all children tend to suffer from it, especially the kind that comes from their classmates.
Covering a January 2015 concert of Children International’s Youth Orchestra in Santiago de los Caballeros, an excited TV reporter named Ruth Camille Santos exclaimed, “The El Sistema project began in Venezuela in the 1970s. Here, it is only 8 months old. But it’s incredible how music has changed the lives of these underprivileged children, teaching them discipline and perseverance.”