The El Sistema Spirit

Music is play, never a chore. It teaches us beauty, but it teaches discipline and perseverance too, and achievement through hard work.

Our goal is excellence – not to be the best, but to be the best you can be. Our kids learn this through teamwork. In our culture, our children experience the challenges and triumphs of making music together as a community.

We emphasize intensive group learning, mentoring, and peer teaching. Mutual respect and support are paramount; passion is valued over precision; the commitment to finding joy in music is unwavering.

By working and striving together for musical excellence, our children grow as individuals. Nurtured and guided by their community, they come to understand their potential and how to realize it.


Guiding Principles

  1. Social transformation - We produce better citizens, stronger communities, and a brighter future through the pursuit of musical excellence.
  2. Teamwork - Orchestral playing is integral to the program.  Everything is about the team, and mutual respect and support are fundamental.
  3. Music as a universal phenomenon - Music pervades the fabric of every community.  It unifies us, and is a powerful tool for social change and action.
  4. Inclusion - programs are free of charge and are open to all, regardless of economic circumstances, social background, race, or religion.
  5. Community – our centres lie at the heart of an extensive, supportive network of parents, volunteers, partners, and leaders. 
  6. Leadership – mutual support is fundamental.  Children who have mastered a scale or two coach younger children; section leaders are responsible for their members and are mentor for younger children


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