Alexa Mae Raquid, Arabella Rosaldo and Princess Denise Duque, students of Sistema Winnipeg (CBC)
Sistema is not a teaching practice, it is a philosophy. The philosophy is that all children deserve the opportunity to make music, regardless of their background or of their means.
It started in Venezuela - and it completely transformed a generation of young people
who were likely destined to a life of gangs and violence.
Now it's arrived in Winnipeg. It's called Sistema.
The program is led by Krisjanna Oleson at Elwick School in the Seven Oaks School Division. It's run in association with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
It requires a big commitment from the children. 42 students from grades 1 to 3 attend this after-school music program five days a week for three hours a day.
"Sistema is not a teaching practice, it is a philosophy," insists Oleson. "The philosophy is that all children deserve the opportunity to make music, regardless of their bckground or of their means. So we are really trying to target students who wouldn't otherwise have that opportunity."
The program started in October. Students started off doing simple rhythm exercises and singing songs. Then they cut out violins and cellos and double basses from cardboard to practice on. In January the real instruments arrived.
Oleson is an incredibly energetic and enthusiastic teacher, perfect for this program. She really knows how to inspire these young children to make music. She is now joined by six instructors (four are members of the WSO), who offer individual and group lessons.
Sistema also needs more volunteers if you would like to offer your time.