In the course of these three days,
yesterday was perhaps the most concrete; after visiting philosophy, teaching
practices, and learning, we saw the actual instruments being made; the
physicality of it all. In the morning at the Centro Académica de Luthería
en Caricuao, we had the pleasure of meeting Roberto de la Luna, who had been
working with El Sistema since 1981.
I asked him about the changes he has seen over the years in his line of work. Expecting some intricate and social/historical response, I was surprised when he said that from his experience, nothing has changed. He continues to spend his days building and repairing instruments, and to teach others his craft so that the system sustains itself. Hours and hours are devoted to each instrument, always keeping in mind that there is a child who needs it, who is depending on them. It reminded me of the pure hard work that goes into providing such a music education for every student that wants it. The ideals and principles are what shapes El Sistema – and I am sure I will have lots more to say about those very soon – but the sawing, the painting, the gluing – these are what form the motor underneath the water.
You may continue reading on my personal blog.
Sistema Fellows '13