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The El Sistema music revolution - Jose Antonio Abreu

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Jose Antonio Abreu is the charismatic founder of a youth orchestra system that has transformed thousands of kids' lives in Venezuela. Here he shares his amazing story and unveils a TED Prize wish that could have a big impact in the US and beyond.

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
To learn more about the project that José Antonio Abreu helped start, check this out: The Simón Bolívar Music Foundation (FundaMusical Bolívar) is the governing body of the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela, commonly known as 'El Sistema'. It was founded by maestro José Antonio Abreu, for the purpose of systematizing music education and promoting the collective practice of music through symphony orchestras and choruses as a means of social organization and communitarian development. Are you not yet convinced that we can hear and learn from music? Check this out: Music is a powerful communication tool--it causes us to laugh, cry, think and question. Bassist and five-time Grammy winner, Victor Wooten, asks us to approach music the same way we learn verbal language--by embracing mistakes and playing as often as possible. Maybe you want to start learning to read music. You're in luck! Start with this TED-Ed Lesson: Like an actor’s script, a sheet of music instructs a musician on what to play (the pitch) and when to play it (the rhythm). Sheet music may look complicated, but once you've gotten the hang of a few simple elements like notes, bars and clefs, you're ready to rock. Tim Hansen hits the instrumental basics you need to read music. Are live arts events important? Are thy compelling? See for yourself by watching this TEDx Talk: Arts administrator and live-theater fan Ben Cameron looks at the state of the live arts -- asking: How can the magic of live theater, live music, live dance compete with the always-on Internet? In his talk, he offers a bold look forward. (Filmed at TEDxYYC.) Maybe you don't play a typical musical instrument. That shouldn't stop you from expressing yourself. This TED-Ed Lesson shows us that we all have the inherent capacity to play an instrument: There’s no need for instruments to make music; you can use the greatest instrument of all, your own body. Members of BEAT NYC teach the basics of beatboxing (think trumpets, bass drums, and everything in between), all while driving around New York City picking up a few friends. Here are two famous success stories from El Sistema: Gustavo Adolfo Dudamel Ramírez is a Venezuelan conductor and violinist. He is the music director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He is honorary conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony in Gothenburg, Sweden. Edicson Ruiz is a Venezuelan double-bass player. At age 17, Ruiz became the youngest member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the second in the Philharmonic history after a harp player in the 19th century; he is also the first Hispanic-American musician to join the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
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