Amidst the sea of new experiences, eager children, and overwhelming amount of music that floods my mind as I reflect on my recent Venezuelan residency, I keep returning to a common thread I found: the deep desire to share. Almost everywhere, students, teachers, administrators, and even Dr. Abreu himself were constantly expressing not just a willingness, but a want, to give whatever they could that would benefit not only their own nucleos, but others within their country as well as internationally.
I wondered how this attitude could be embedded so deeply in the culture of El Sistema, and in one rehearsal of the children’s orchestra in Barquisimeto, found it eloquently captured. As their conductor paused during coaching the young musicians through a difficult passage and encouraged them to help out their neighbor, he said to them, “Each person here is responsible for another person. And that other person is responsible for everyone else.” It is the idea that giving to someone else is giving to everyone, and that everyone includes you.
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Sistema Fellow '13