Paterson Music Project

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

The Nonprofit Pay Problem and What We Can Do about It

11-03-2021

In the words of Petro Manzo’s article “The Real Salary Scandal” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the “psychic income” one receives from feeling good and fulfilled from their nonprofit work doesn’t pay the bills, and can have real consequences for individuals and their families. The concept of a “psychic income” connects to a longstanding narrative that nonprofits workers can’t make too much, for fear that they will profit from charity work. Dan Pallotta has discussed how harmful it is when we adopt the Puritan mindset that paying well somehow undermines our mission. Many funders perpetuate this narrative, too—limiting general operating funding and keeping strict ratios between overhead and direct program expenses. But our passion for our work shouldn’t hinder us from paying our bills.

Connect, Adapt, Thrive: Lessons in Resiliency and Community from the 2021 El Sistema USA Symposium

03-02-2021

Over the course of a week in mid-February, members of El Sistema USA met for the annual El Sistema USA Symposium and Seminario. Permeating this year’s sessions were the twin pandemics our country has grappled with for the past year: COVID-19 and systemic racism. El Sistema programs have had to confront the impacts of these crises at the local community level, and they had a lot to share.

Sistema Parenting

05-01-2019

Since kindergarden, my daughters Geanelly and Haley have attended the Paterson Music Project (PMP). Geanelly plays the viola and Haley plays violin. At first, it was hard for both of my girls to get comfortable with their instruments. For me, the hardest thing to get used to was the extra time I needed to support my daughters in the program—taking them, picking them up, coming to concerts, etc.

In Alliance: More than the Sum of Their Parts

12-01-2017

“Hey, did you hear that other group playing our song? I wonder how they knew it?” said one incredulous young cellist to another, after hearing another El Sistema group play “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” at the Fiddle and FaLaLa Fest.

With that one simple question, a child’s world opened up. If he had never heard “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” before he learned it as part of his journey with the Paterson Music Project, how could he guess that anyone else could play it?

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