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Scots Govt. gives £1.3 million for el sistema orchestra

The Scottish authorities have allocated £1.325 million (about $2 million) towards setting up a youth orchestra on el sistema lines in one of the poorest parts of Glasgow.

Scotland already has a sistema orchestra running at Raploch – it was conducted by Gustavo Dudamel just before the London Olympics.

A second public investment shows that politicians have begun to believe that playing music can really redeem deprived children’s lives.

Read the BBC’s report.

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  1. When you hear the Raploch kids — and their parents, grandparents, etc. — talk about music, it’s with a passion that should put most of the classical establishment to shame. The Raploch concert that opened the Cultural Olympiad was as moving for its shots of aunties and grannies in their deckchairs in a Scottish field (under plastic sheeting because, being June in Scotland, it was pissing down with rain), suffused with pride. Playing in an orchestra gives adolescent kids everything that turns them towards gang culture: a sense of belonging, self-respect — and with rather less deleterious results. If the government really wanted to eliminate gang violence, it should make orchestral playing compulsory.

  2. It is time for some enlightened government or educator to set up an “El Sistema” for mathematics. Most ‘innumeracy” and “math phobia” is due to bad teaching.

  3. I am thrilled to see this.

    Is there any information on the funding provided by Chicago and NYC governments for expanded music classes? Both cities seem to have embraced this concept, if not the name.

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