Since 1975, Venezuela’s El Sistema program has given impoverished Venezuelan children the opportunity to pursue classical music. From preschoolers using paper cutouts of instruments to training the world-class Simón Bolivar Orchestra, the program has touched the lives of more than 300,000 children.
And these kids don’t mess around. Watch them take on Leonardo Bernstein’s Mambo. For more, this short documentary profiles the program’s history and accomplishments. Some notable successes include, Gustavo Dudamel – the conductor of the Los Angeles philharmonic and one of classical music’s rising stars.
El Sistema’s ability to produce world class talent from some of the least likely places has attracted support throughout Venezuela and the world. Currently, President Hugo Chavez’s government spends $64 million, a year on the program. Different versions of El Sistema have appeared in many countries. This Cleveland Neighborhood adopted a similar approach under the same name.