March 2018

The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.

Setting the Stage for Sistema


Music for the Very Young (MVY), Trenton Music Makers’ early-childhood music and movement program, was created in 2000. Our goal was to serve Trenton’s pre-K children, teachers and families, not only by creating joyful and interesting early musical experiences for the children, but also by weaving music and movement into the fabric of the preschool day, and engaging the children’s families in their music learning. We worked closely with the school district and with Music Together, creators of the music resources used in MVY, to ensure we addressed district goals with high-quality materials. Weekly classes led by early childhood music specialists, PD workshops for classroom teachers, family music parties – all these create an immersive music-making opportunity that is very much aligned with Sistema practice.

From the Editor


Many of us know by heart this quote from José Antonio Abreu’s televised TED talk in 2009: “Orchestra and chorus are much more than artistic structures; they are schools of social life, because to play and sing together means to intimately coexist toward perfection and excellence.”

Stronger Together: The Longy Sistema Side By Side


At a Celtics game in Boston’s TD Garden this past January, the national anthem was played by an ensemble making their arena debut: the Longy Sistema Side By Side Orchestra, made up of graduate students at the Longy Conservatory and students from El Sistema-inspired programs in the Boston area and in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. For the young Sistema players, it was an unforgettable moment. For Longy, it was a milestone in its mission to support connections between music education and social justice.


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