Have you heard of El Sistema? My nephew sends his son to this school in Boston that utilizes this program. If you have not heard about El Sistema, you can go here to learn about this exciting program on Radio Open Source. Listen to this podcast from Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon and see a video.
Chris Lydon says that El Sistema is not an instruction method so much as a shared conviction: that every child wants to make music, and can. It has big social implications, too: that a child with an instrument and a teacher is no longer poor or excluded; that a poor family with a child in an orchestra has a path to the future.
This was posted by Howard Gardner about the program: Many thanks to you both, for inviting me and letting me participate fully — I learned a good deal about el sistema, both in its Venezuelan incarnation and its Boston adaptation– I thought that the final point, catalyzed by Chris, was especially provocative– one can have spiritual experiences in religion (that’s almost the definition of a religious experience), and some of us have similar experiences from intellectual pursuits (like discovering a mathematical or scientific proof), but the arts are probably the privileged way for the whole swath of humanity to have spiritual experiences– a reason to make sure that they are available to everyone.
The idea that Truth, Beauty and Goodness need to be taught is a powerful endorsement for the arts in education.