"(El Sistema is...) so extrordinary it has been hailed as the future of classical music itself."
-CBS 60 Minutes, 2008
"I've studied music since I was four years old, and from that moment I became part of a family. That family taught me things; not only musical things, but things I have to face in life -- and this is where the success of the system lies."
-Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director of the L.A. Philharmonic and El Sistema Graduate
"From the minute a child is taught how to play an instrument... he becomes a child in progress, heading for a profesional level, who will later become a citizen."
-Dr. José Antonio Abreu, El Sistema Founder
"If anyone asked me where there is something really important going on for the future of classical music, I would simply have to say here (in Venezuela)."
-Sir Simon Rattle, Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic
"The truth is, I have never felt so moved, not only because of the emotion of the moment, but I must say, because of the quality (of the El Sistema musicians)."
MYCincinnati is inspired by Venezuela's national youth orchestra program, El Sistema. Over the past 35 years, El Sistema has evolved into a world-renowned youth development program that uses music as a vehicle for social change. In Venezuela there are currently over 200 youth orchestras, 150 choirs, 180 musical instruction centers known as núcleos, and extensive music programs for children with disabilities. Since 1975, almost 2 million children have been part of the program, with over 300,000 currently participating. Average student tenure in the program is 10 years. By making music education a universal right, El Sistema has not only changed the lives of millions of Venezuelan children, but has also completely transformed the cultural landscape of the country. El Sistema's success in helping children build better futures has led to the creation of similar programs in over 30 countries around the world.
Learn More about El Sistema by watching this 12-minute video from CBS's 60 Minutes (2008).