Advantages found for Older Beginners

Sistema educators tend to believe it is best for their students to start young. But a new research study finds one advantage for older beginners. “The music classes offered during many children’s elementary and high-school education in America may result...
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Blue Ocean Shift Award Honors Paul McCandlin

In December 2017, The first “Global Blue Ocean Shift Award” was presented to Paul McCandlin for his work as conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq (NYOI) from 2009-2014, and described in his book Upbeat: The Story of the...
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EDITORIAL: “Good Job!”

“Good job!” As teachers – especially as teachers with a central goal of helping students develop self- esteem – how many times a day do we say that to kids?  In my private teaching practice, I too say it often. ...
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How does playing an instrument benefits your brain?

Here is an easy-to-follow five-minute animated film that summarizes the conclusions brain scientists draw about the effect of music on brain development. Spoiler alert: they conclude that music making is the most powerful brain workout humans can have, more than...
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Confirmed: Musicians really ARE smarter!

Working memory is the capacity to hold onto information even as you are processing it – to consider how it confirms, contradicts, adjusts your previous knowledge. This is essential to effective learning, as is short-term memory. A new meta-study of...
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BOOK: When Grit Isn’t Enough

Grit. It’s a word that has been discussed in education circles for several decades, most recently as a suggested solution for the education gap in the United States. But what if “grit” isn’t enough? Linda Nathan is the first Executive Director of...
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The Most Important Choice You Make

What advice would a neuroscientist give to Sistema program administrators who get stressed out in their work? To teaching artists striving to be more effective with students? To music stand partners? Moran Cerf, who teaches in the Kellogg School of...
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Creative Youth Development – Join the Movement

  Creative Youth Development (CYD) is an umbrella term in the U.S. for a variety of education programs and initiatives that share values and practices with El Sistema-inspired programs.  A national CYD partnership publishes a free newsletter, and now it...
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