Changing Lives Through Music

02008-07-25 | Music, News | 3 comments

El Sistema: Changing Lives Through Music, Bob Simon On Venezuela’s Groundbreaking Musical Education Program – CBS News
Abreu, a 69-year-old retired economist, trained musician, and social reformer founded “the system” in 1975 and has built it with religious zeal, based on his unorthodox belief that what poor Venezuelan kids needed was classical music.

“Essentially this is a social system that fights poverty,” Abreu explained. “A child’s physical poverty is overcome by the spiritual richness that music provides.”

“So, music actually becomes the vehicle for social change?” Simon asked.

“Without a doubt,” Abreu replied. “And that is what’s happening in Venezuela.”

Every afternoon, small children line up for free music lessons at their local branch of “the system.”


  1. Panj

    Every morning, as our school day started in Dallas, the Principle would play 2 pieces of Music over the loud speakers and we were all to remain quiet until they finished…the only names I can remember are ‘Stout Hearted Men’ and the ‘German Walking Song’, although there were many more. I must say, it really got our day off to a good start as it was both relaxing and stimulating. One of my most vivid and wonderful memories of school!

  2. Carol

    We always started with us singing the StarSpangled Banner together. One time the principal decided he would pipe in music. We teachers rebelled Probably because because we had no choice. I played Ottmar’s music often. After they heard it, when I’d ask which music, and gave them a choice they wanted his.

  3. LindaW

    I recall growing up to classical music, it set a good tone to each day.

    Now that I am (supposedly) grown up I tend to listen to anything along these lines while I work to help detangle my day. Music seems to take me back to those early days.


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