“Changing lives through music”. Based on Venezuela’s El Sistema and its philosophy of “social action through music”, a network of organisations is working in England to positively transform the lives of children from deprived communities through music. The In Harmony scheme, part-funded by the Department for Education and National Lottery through Arts Council England, has programmes in Lambeth, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Telford and Stoke.
More than 3,100 children in 12 schools receive free musical instruments and music tuition, and they are part of ensembles that perform regularly. In Harmony is,
“Enhancing children’s social and emotional wellbeing and improving their attitudes to learning” - National Foundation for Educational Research, 2013
The scheme involves more than 16 local partners, led by the Southbank Centre, Opera North, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Sage Gateshead, Nottingham Music Service and Telford & Wrekin Music. Other independent programmes are also operating successfully, including Sistema in Norwich, which engages 1,000 children in two Norwich schools and is led by Norfolk & Norwich Community Arts.
To read more about Sistema-inspired work in England, visit the website of Sistema England, a charity that aims to transform the lives of children, young people and their communities through the power of music making, as part of the international El Sistema movement. Chaired by In Harmony founder Julian Lloyd Webber, the charity works with the In Harmony and Norwich programmes to promote, fundraise and create opportunities for their development and expansion.