The first stop on my Boston Sistema tour was Sistema Somerville. I was very excited to visit because the director, Diane Cline, had volunteered at MYCincinnati during our first year, right before she moved to Boston. The first thing that jumped out at me was the hard work of her teachers. They were all there early; they spent time with the kids during snack time, even helping sweep up the cafeteria afterwards. Then, while the kids were doing homework, they got down to work setting up the rooms, which was an extensive task. Chairs, stands, and instruments all had to be moved, but everyone seemed to have a great attitude about it. When the kids finished homework, instruments were out on chairs, already tuned, so not a moment of the precious time to play music was wasted. My favorite moment was in the cello sectional. The students were working on Harry Potter. To set the mood, the teacher turned off the lights and put on the music from Harry Potter. The kids filed in silently, and he gave a scary/silly introduction to class about using their bows as magic wands to bring the music alive. The kids loved it, and it set the tone for a fun but productive class.
Next stop was Josiah Quincy School. Growing up, I remember driving down the Mass Pike and passing that building many, many times, but I had never actually been in it. The building itself was amazing: high ceilings and unusually shaped spaces. There was a lot of excitement the day I was there because they were having a concert that night. I enjoyed seeing the five different levels of orchestras run through their pieces. Their program met in the morning, so after stopping by I had time to head over to see another program before heading back for their evening concert.