El Sistema Aeolian
What is the El Sistema Aeolian program?
El Sistema Aeolian is part of a global movement designed to offer free universal access to an intensive collaborative music program. There are millions of participants in over 60 countries and the program has spread across Canada quickly. Canadian Provincial and National Associations are forming. Our local program offers four days of instruction to our participants including orchestra, choir and piano lessons. With our community partner D&S Pianos, we also provide donated pianos. Meals and snacks are also provided. Our participants give approximately 15 concerts per year in various settings. Why music? Music transcends language and takes us directly to our limbic brain; the emotional core. It allows us to express the flow of intellect and emotion. Imagine your life without it. Music study drives our passions to develop many transferable skills. The latest research on music and the brain has shown a direct correlation between music study and academic achievement.
Our world needs creative thinkers; young people with high social and emotional intelligence. We all need to foster leadership, volunteerism, mentorship, pursuit of excellence and a commitment to community. We also need to nurture strong engagement with art and culture. Art and culture are the beacons of civilization and the glue for a sense of life meaning and life journey. This is what El Sistema Aeolian is all about; balancing and holding the tension between the creative and the social outcomes of education, cultivating Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment. We stand proud and committed to our young people on their musical journeys. We commend their inspiration, aspiration and perspiration. El Sistema Aeolian is supported by many individuals, corporations, granters and foundations. As an example we have recently been awarded a London Community Foundation Vitality Grant. The program continues to welcome donations of musical instruments. It is well supported by a team of volunteers and gifted teachers.
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Mission: "Giving Music to Everyone"
The arts enlighten, inspire and transform individuals, helping us build strong, healthy and vibrant communities. El Sistema Aeolian provides an opportunity for children, youth and their communities to experience a free, intensive, innovative and accessible afterschool music program. We provide expert instruction in a nurturing, safe and inclusive environment allowing participants to develop their full social and musical potential.
Vision: "A World filled with Music"
We see a world in which all children and youth experience the joy and inspiration of music. The skills they will learn are transferable and include social engagement, inclusiveness, leadership, pursuit of excellence and creative learning styles. These skills and pathways will open new horizons and alternative pathways for these young people. It will assist them to achieve their full potential enrich our communities.
History of El Sistema Aeolian
The Aeolian Hall Musical Arts Association launched El Sistema Aeolian in November of 2011. El Sistema is a program designed to offer free music training for youth with a focus on classical orchestral music. El Sistema Aeolian is housed in Aeolian Hall, a centre for research and development of arts programs with focus on social justice, social inclusion, and community development. The first opportunities to participate in this program were for the youth from the Old East Village Community and in particular Lorne Ave. Public School. The Aeolian will be expanding this program model in the future which will offer opportunities to other areas, groups, organizations and individuals throughout our City of London. Aeolian’s launch is the 4th in Canada and is supported by a gifted group of musicians, educators, students, interested community members and the Staff/Directors of the Aeolian.
El Sistema in a Global context
El Sistema was started in Venezuela in 1975. Since then, the program has had a history of success in many corners of the world and is continuously spreading. El Sistema programs target participants who might not normally have opportunities to study music in a private setting and participate in an orchestra. The philosophical goals of the program are to help youth learn to play great music, build team-work skills, pursue excellence, and engage in unique self-actuated learning styles. Through these skills and pathways, new horizons and alternative pathways can be actuated in these young people’s lives.
Since its launch, El Sistema Aeolian has performed several concerts at the Aeolian Hall:
El Sistema Aeolian senior students perform Mozart's Ave Verum with London Pro Musica and Madawaska String Quartet on February 23, 2013. Photo credit: Jim Kost
El Sistema Aeolian junior students during a rehearsal
El Sistema Aeolian choir performs its first concert. November 6, 2012. Photo credit: Jim Kost
Members of El Sistema Aeolian celebrate receiving an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant with MPPs Deb Matthews and Chris Bentley on July 16, 2012. Photo credit: Jim Kost
Len Ingaro conducts the El Sistema performance at Old East Live on June 14, 2012.
El Sistema Aeolian peform at Aeolian Hall as part of "Great Lakes Need Great Friends" on May 30, 2012
London City Council and Mayor Joe Fontana applaud the El Sistema Aeolian group after their performance at a City Council Meeting on Tuesday May 1, 2012.