Allentown Symphony Orchestra, El Sistema Lehigh Valley

El Sistema Lehigh Valley (ESLV) at Roosevelt Elementary School is a free music education program made possible through the Allentown Symphony Association’s collaboration with the Allentown School District. ESLV provides all participating students with intensive afterschool orchestral instrumental instruction, choir instruction, academic tutoring, and an after-school snack. The rich music curriculum creates a cooperative, fun, a nurturing environment for the children to explore their creativity as individuals and as a large ensemble.

Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKids Program
OrchKids is a year-round during and after school music program designed to create social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Baltimore City neighborhoods. Under Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Marin Alsop’s artistic leadership and direction, OrchKids is the cornerstone of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s efforts to expland the Orchestra’s relevance within the broad and diverse Baltimore community. In collaboration with several community partners, including Baltimore City Public Schools, OrchKids provides music eduation, instruments, academic instruction, meals, as well as performance and mentorship opportunities at no cost. OrchKids is inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, the music program that has tranformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in the country’s most impoverished areas in only 40 years. Currently we work with 4 Public Elementary School in Baltimore City serving close to 600 children from Pre-Kindergarten thought the 7th grade.

Corona Youth Music Project
Founded in 2010 in Corona (Queens, NY) to empower youth, fight poverty, and promote social inclusion through music education and performance.  It is the first organization in Queens that is part of “El Sistema,” a global movement of music for social change.  Through their participation in the Orchestra, children are given the opportunity to become valued assets to the Corona community.Our goal is to have at least 500 children in Corona playing an instrument in an orchestra by 2014.  Please help us reach that goal!

Harmony Program at City University of New York
The Harmony Program provides music lessons to economically disadvantaged children by training college music students as their teachers.Drawing from Venezuela's world-famous model of music education, "El Sistema," the Harmony Program fosters a supportive community for program participants and families, emphasizes the influence of music-making on social development, encourages learning through ensemble performance, and requires of all involved a high degree of commitment to daily music study.

Harmony Project, LA
Harmony Project is an award-winning research-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that targets at-risk youth in underserved areas of Los Angeles. We promote positive youth development through year-round music lessons and ensemble participation. Our mission is to promote the healthy growth and development of children through the study, practice and performance of music. To build healthier communities by investing in the positive development of children through music.  To develop children as musical ambassadors of peace, hope and understanding amongst people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and beliefs.

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Jump Start Strings Program
Jump Start Strings is a music education program offering an opportunity for more than 100 elementary students to learn and play violin in three after school programs run by Communities in Schools (CIS). JSO musicians provide instruction one day per week and CIS programs assistants supervise two practice days at Woodland Acres, Pickett and Reynolds Lane Elementary schools. The children can continue their violin instruction during the summer if they attend the summer camp at one of the three schools.

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Kids in Tune
Developed in 2011, Kalamazoo Kids In Tune (KKIT) combines the talents and resources of the KSO with the Kalamazoo Public Schools and Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo (KCIS), to pilot an after-school program in the fall based on El Sistema. The KKIT pilot program takes place at Woods Lake Elementary: A Magnet School for the Arts. The program infuses the existing KCIS after-school program with the El Sistema philosophy and methodology.
KKIT surrounds the children with a caring web of support, resources, and mentors. Four days each week (Mon-Thurs) children receive a hot meal, academic tutoring and literacy support, music instruction, and recreation.


KidZNotes is an El Sistema-inspired nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that fights poverty and encourages positive decision making by instructing and engaging children in classical orchestral music.  KidZNotes aims to improve children’s musical performance, to develop values that contribute to success at school and in society, and to promote children’s and families’ engagement in program and community activities. As a collaborator in the East Durham Children’s Initiative, KidZNotes serves children in East Durham’s poorest neighborhoods, where the elementary schools are the lowest-performing in the city. We provide free instruments and music lessons, and we give children hope for the future regardless of their circumstances.  By working with local school boards, social organizations, small businesses, and individuals in the community, we strive to reach the maximum number of children.  Eventually, we aim to have a system of quality youth orchestras making music across the state. The hard work these children put in and the love they develop for music will open many doors for their futures.

LA Philharmonic, YOLA Program
Resource Library
Stakeholder Group

Through Gustavo Dudamel's Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) program – inspired by Venezuela's revolutionary El Sistema – the LA Phil and its community partners provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to students from underserved neighborhoods, enabling every child to contribute using their full potential.

Music Program at ICAN (Incredible Children’s Art Network)
The Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN) was founded in 2005 by a group of individuals who believe that all young people should have access to quality arts learning opportunities and that the arts are essential to the social, emotional, and intellectual development of every child.
The mission of Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN) is to bring high quality arts programs to children in Santa Barbara County, particularly those least likely to receive them. Through sustained creative learning opportunities that emphasize both artistic excellence and access, iCAN seeks to affect positive social change in the communities it serves.

People’s Music School, YOURS PROJECT
Named after our founder, Rita Simo, the YOURS Project is the People's Music School's El Sistema program that provides free, orchestral, after-school music education to children throughout Chicago Public Schools.In just two short years, we have transformed over 700 students through music education at four public schools, making it one of the most successful El Sistema programs in the country. The YOURS Project was founded by a group of idealistic volunteers in October 2008, using donated instruments and makeshift accessories to teach 35 children after school.

The project's goals are social, using intense immersion in an orchestra-school training program to broaden horizons and develop potential. The project aspires to be a city-wide network of nucleos, locations that house these orchestras, the first of which is located at the William G. Hibbard Elementary School in Albany Park.
Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Tune Up Philly Program

Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Tune Up Philly Program
The mission of Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s Tune Up Philly program is to nurture children by keeping them engaged in success through weekday out-of-school hours music instruction.  Through its Tune Up Philly program, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra organization believes that music education is a powerful vehicle for children to master skills that will enable them to acquire valuable tools for cooperative learning, teamwork, academic success and self-esteem.
For the 2011-2012 school year, Tune Up Philly’s school site is the People for People Charter School in North Philadelphia.

Play on Philly!
Play On, Philly! (POP) is an innovative education and social initiative that provides opportunities for personal development to children through the study of music. Inspired by the social development and music education program of Venezuela called El Sistema, POP seeks to enrich the lives of Philadelphia youth by providing daily musical instruction in communities that have little access to music education. Established in 2011 at St. Francis de Sales School in West Philadelphia, POP began with 110 youth, ages six to thirteen, with the goal of making a significant and sustaining impact on their lives. By expanding gradually, the program is able to stay flexible to curriculum adjustments and responsive to community needs. We strive to engage the entire community through partnerships, community events, and a season of thirty performances in venues across the Philadelphia region.

San Diego Youth Symphony & Conservatory’s Community Opus Project

Over the last decade music education programs have been drastically cut from schools in San Diego. This creates an immense gap between those who have access to music education and those who will have to see their musical aspirations unfulfilled. In response to this urgent growing need, and with guidance through our institutional vision, SDYS launched the Community Opus Project in 2010. Inspired by the success of the El Sistema movement in Venezuela, SDYS strongly believes music education will be a powerful vehicle for change in our own community.

Through the Community Opus Project we provide community based music programs for at-risk youth in San Diego County. The programs take place on school sites and community centers within those underserved communities and are completely free. Students receive new instruments to begin their musical journey as well as regular expert instruction and mentorship by our Artistic Faculty. SDYS knows there are numerous barriers to participation and has taken great care to eliminate those hurdles for all students, regardless of their families’ socio-economic status.

Stockton Symphony, Harmony Stockton Program
The program is a daily after-school enrichment program combining two hours of music instruction with academic tutoring and regular public performance to assist young students in developing life skills toward personal, academic, and social success.  It is a partnership of four organizations with a five-year commitment to fund and expand Harmony Stockton at a Title I elementary school in Stockton CA. In its first year, Harmony Stockton performed for more than 2400 at 12 public events, focusing progress and galvanizing the learning community of 35 students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.

Verdugo Young Musicians Association, Music Project
VYMA Music Project at Longfellow Elementary

VYMA Music Project at Longfellow Elementary is inspired by El Sistema, the immensely successful model of music education that produced Gustavo Dudamel, now Director of Los Angeles Philharmonic. The VYMA Music Project was initiated by VYMA in fall 2009 in partnership with PasadenaLEARNs. The after-school program aims to provide very young children with a free, systematic and high quality classical music education, including free use of instruments.

Youth Orchestra of San Antonio’s Music After School (YOSA MÁS)
First started as the Music Learning Center in 2009, YOSA’s Music After School (YOSA MÁS) is San Antonio’s El Sistema-inspired music education program. YOSA MÁS offers intensive string instruction to at-risk and underserved students on San Antonio’s west side, providing instruments, instruction, and a safe space to learn.

Inspired by the Venezuelan El Sistema model of youth orchestras, YOSA MÁS shares many of the same philosophies and practices. In Venezuela, El Sistema serves more than 400,000 children through rigorous music instruction and learning through performing since its beginning in 1974.


On the Road to El Sistema, Part II, by Kathryn Wyatt, with Rebecca Levi, Symphony