It can be difficult to describe Sistema work. We love to use phrases like "using music as a vehicle
for social change," or "social change through music education." These all sound great, but was does that really mean? Are we social
service organizations? Are we conservatories? Are we childcare
centers? And, what are our goals? Are we producing the next
generation of concertmasters and soloists? Are we just trying to keep
kids off the street? Are we helping kids graduate from high school and
have productive futures?
Here's the simple answer: Yes.
We have multiple personality disorder.
And, you know what? That's awesome. Let me tell you why.
Let's start our journey down the dissociative identity trail at the People's Music School in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. This organization has provided free music instruction for Chicago's youth since 1975. People's Music School has multiple personality disorder. It has two branches: onsite programming, conducted at PMS' building in Uptown; and offsite programming, under the auspices of the YOURS Project. Onsite programming focuses on private/small group lessons, music theory and composition. YOURS teaches nearly exclusively through group instruction. Onsite programming occurs 3 days a week; YOURS project, 5 days a week.
Both programs offer free music education to Chicago's children. They have slightly different ways of doing it. Is that a bad thing? No! Are you kidding me? People's Music School is offering two different options in order to best suit the needs of the greatest number of children and families! That's brilliance! Continue reading on my personal blog.
Sistema Fellow '13