The pedagogy of becoming: identity formation through the Baltimore symphony orchestra's OrchKids and Venezuela's El Sistema

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ann Shoemaker (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Michael Burns

Abstract: Rapid development of El Sistema-inspired music programs around the world has left many music educators seeking the tools to emulate El Sistema effectively. This paper offers information to these people by evaluating one successful program in the United States and how it reflects the intent and mission of El Sistema. Preliminary research on El Sistema draws from articles and from information provided by Mark Churchill, Dean Emeritus of New England Conservatory's Department of Preparatory and Continuing Education and director of El Sistema USA. Travel to Baltimore, Maryland and to four cities in Venezuela allowed for observation and interviews with people from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's OrchKids program and four núcleos in El Sistema, respectively. OrchKids and El Sistema aim to improve the lives of their students and their communities, but El Sistema takes action only through music while OrchKids has a broader spectrum of activities. OrchKids also uses a wider variety of musical genres than El Sistema does. Both programs impact their students by giving them a strong sense of personal identity and of belonging to community. The children learn responsibility to the communities around them such as their neighborhood and their orchestra, and also develop a sense of belonging to a larger international music community.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Community, Ethnomusicology, Identity, OrchKids, Pedagogy, Sistema
Fundacio´n del Estado para el Sistema Nacional de las Orquestas Juveniles e Infantiles de Venezuela
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Music $x Instruction and study $z Venezuela
Music $x Instruction and study $z United States
Music and youth $x Social aspects

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