How does a Latin American Music Initiative impact an American Charter School Community? Observations from El Sistema Boston [full paper]

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Date
2011-10
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Latin American Music Center
Abstract
Rooted in Venezuela, El Sistema is a visionary global movement that has transformed the lives of youth through music since 1975. A Boston public charter school restructured and invigorated its’ curriculum with the El Sistema music program in September 2010. The pedagogical focus of El Sistema is the orchestra, a model for an ideal community that advances the social and performance skills of students empowering their personal and musical development. Our project aimed to assess the impact of El Sistema, a Latin American education initiative, on an American urban charter school. Self-regulation, motivation, peer-respect and responsibility are the skills and behaviors that were of interest and markers for cognitive, emotional and social development beyond academic achievement. We observed and collected perceptions of social and behavioral changes in students and assessed the potential positive musical influence of El Sistema through a qualitative and quantitative music literacy test. In our observations, the El Sistema curriculum has been perceived as a positive influence on the students’ social and behavioral development. Participating in the program provides students with valuable social interactions, enabling them to engage in collaborative learning, as well as propelling their musical knowledge. Further assessment will determine the El Sistema curriculum’s impact outside of the music classroom. Through further observation of El Sistema programs throughout the U.S., we can observe and acknowledge the large scale impact of this Latin American music initiative in our country.
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Cultural, Conferencia, Cultural Counterpoints, Interactions, Latin America, Latin American Music Center, Music, Musical, Música, Música Latinoamericana, United States, Fiftieth Anniversary, 50th anniversary, El Sistema, Boston, Venezuela, Music Education
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Article