ECoSistema: Elkhart County El Sistema Music Initiative
There is almost universal agreement on the value of music and the arts for the healthy social, cognitive, and physical development of children and youth. El Sistema has emerged as a global movement that promotes children and youth engagement in community and school-based music-making experiences. El Sistema is not a replicable program or curriculum, but rather a set of inspiring ideas and a movement to use ensemble music to enable every child to experience being an asset within their community.
Although many accomplished musicians have started their journey in El Sistema-inspired programs, ECoSistema is about creating citizens and building communities through music.
There is a growing "extracurricular gap" between children of different socio-economic groups. Extracurricular activities and involvement in music-making (learning to play an instrument, taking part in a choir) have lasting effects on children's cognitive and socio-emotional skills. Engagement with these types of activities provides a sense of belonging and access to caring adults.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County's Goshen Club partnered with Horizon Education Alliance and the Elkhart County El Sistema Music Initiative to provide this impactful program to Club kids. Over 120 Club members at the Goshen Club have participated in EcoSistema programming this fall.
The orchestras have been practicing diligently since the beginning of school. Club members practice twice a week together and also receive a private lesson from one of the instructors. ECoSistema is just one of the many quality programs offered by the Club, that addresses the cycle of inequity by giving youth access to opportunities, and leveling the playing field among all kids, no matter their circumstances.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County is preparing kids to stand on equal footing with their peers, reach their potential, and emerge prepared to impact the world.
This video is a performance that includes a few members from our orchestra in person and virtually as well. We are proud of our Club members' commitment and growth by trying new things with ECoSistema!