Sistema Toronto

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

In Toronto, a Student-Driven Social Curriculum Inspires New Learning

04-06-2021

When Toronto’s schools closed in March 2020, we knew we were in for a challenging spring of adapting to the technological and musical challenges of remote learning. We also knew that students would be struggling with feelings of isolation, anxiety, and boredom, and it would be vitally important for us to offer help with these emotional and social challenges. Luckily, we were somewhat prepared for the transition, thanks to our Social Curriculum activities. These activities had the potential to be a key support for our students and staff—as long as we could figure out an effective, accessible way to adapt them to the online format.

Canada Connects

11-03-2020

As El Sistema-inspired programs, we value community. Over the years, programs of various shapes and sizes have sprung up across Canada, laying down roots in priority communities. Although each program is unique in how it strives to support the students and families it serves, we are united as El Sistema-inspired programs in our shared belief in the transformative power of music. We are also bound together in confronting issues that concern all Canadians—issues of income inequality, racism, and systemic oppression, to name a few.

Radical Inclusion and Friendship in Arohanui Strings

04-02-2020

I moved to New Zealand in 2010, when my husband began a job with the NZ Symphony Orchestra. After years of playing violin professionally, Suzuki and Waldorf/Steiner teaching, and raising our two daughters, I found myself for the first time in decades with time and space to contemplate going in a new direction.

The El Sistema USA National Symposium

03-01-2019

It was clear that the 2019 El Sistema USA National Symposium was going to be special when, in the midst of a historic cold spell, over 200 attendees representing 80 different El Sistema-inspired organizations braved sub-zero temperatures to attend. Attendees arrived early for the welcome and filled the ballroom with the type of vibrant energy surrounding a convening of friends for their annual trip. Christine Taylor Conda, the ESUSA board chair, chose to forgo the typical welcome and, instead, immediately had the entire room singing a three-part song to meet and welcome one another, setting a tone of collaboration and camaraderie for the symposium.

Sistema Toronto De-Funded

09-02-2018

In the June 2018 issue of The World Ensemble, we enthusiastically reported that Sistema Toronto had been granted $500,000 by the Ontario provincial government as part of a significant new investment in arts education.

A Social Skills Curriculum

08-01-2018

Sistema Toronto is in its second year of a three-year project dedicated to building a detailed and integrated curriculum focused on musical and social learning outcomes for its 250 students, aged 6-12. The music curricula components include music and moment, strings, choir, and percussion. We are also creating an integrated social curriculum, developed by a team of our teachers and rooted in experiential learning pedagogy, that is intended to be woven into teaching and learning outcomes for all music classes.

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