Sistema Connect



As El Sistema-inspired programs emerge worldwide, so does the need for volunteers to help these programs in many different ways: training teachers, working with children, fundraising, curriculum development, making/fixing instruments, and so on. There are programs all over the world, serving children in-need, that have the passion and leadership for this work, but lack the resources that are readily available elsewhere.

As an Associate Editor on The World Ensemble, I’ve read many “calls for volunteers” from programs worldwide: India, Australia, Namibia, Mexico, to name a few. At the same time, there are musicians, music educators, and nonprofit advocates searching for a way to make a difference in the world, especially for those less fortunate. If you can spare a week, a month, or even a year to help an El Sistema-inspired program grow and students to thrive, consider becoming involved.

Not only will your work benefit the students and educators that you assist, it will also positively impact your own journey.

~Graciela Briceno


Teachers and students from Sistemang Pilipino during our one-week teacher training course in April 2013.
​Frequently Asked Questions

​Does it cost programs anything to request a volunteer through Sistema Connect?
No, it does not cost programs anything to request a volunteer. Programs can request a volunteer even if they cannot afford to provide airfare or accommodation for volunteers, however, please be aware that if a program is able to pay for airfare and/or offer free accommodation to volunteers, there is a greater chance of being matched.

Does it cost volunteers anything to sign up with Sistema Connect?
No, it does not cost volunteers anything to sign up. Volunteers can sign up even if they cannot afford to pay for their own travel and/or accommodation, however, please be aware that if a volunteer is able to pay for his/her travel and/or accommodation, then there is a greater chance of being matched. Sistema Connect is working to find third-party sponsors (such as airlines) that can cover part of these costs, but this does not yet exist.

If I fill out the volunteer form, am I obligated to go somewhere or complete a specific task?
No, filling out the volunteer (or program) form does not obligate you to anything. You will receive an e-mail should there be a program searching for a volunteer that fits your expertise and preferences. It is then up to you to decide whether or not you are interested in contacting that program and getting the partnership started.

What is the process for matching volunteers and programs?
Fill out the volunteer or program form. Sistema Connect will “match” interested volunteers with programs seeking assistance via e-mail, based on a number of factors, including the type of volunteer opportunity, financial needs, location preferences, and length of placement. Volunteers and programs will communicate with each other to build relationships and make specific plans.

Who can apply to volunteer with Sistema Connect? 
Anyone! If you have a skill set that can be useful to an emerging El Sistema – inspired program, the willingness to volunteer, and some free time to offer, you are welcome to fill out the volunteer form.

What happens to the information I provide on the forms?
The information you provide on the Sistema Connect forms is only used by Sistema Connect. Your information will not be used for any other purpose or given to anybody else.

Are there paid positions?
No, Sistema Connect currently does not focus on paid positions. At this time all volunteer positions are unpaid (although some programs may be able to cover airfare and/or accomodation).

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
​Contact Graciela Briceno at

Sistema Connect does not assume liability or responsibility for anything that may happen once a connection has been made. We merely help to connect programs and volunteers. All communication, plans, and trips beyond that are up to you! 


Students of Ghetto Classics prepare for a performance (Nairobi, Kenya)
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