Music is a tool for social change.

Music is passion first, refinement second. The joyful expression of music is the energy that fuels the process for positive social transformation in the individual and the wider community.

Music learned and played together.

Orchestra, choir and small groups effectively act as a model society, where competition between individuals is replaced with shared struggle. Maestro Abreu stated that “the orchestra is the only group that comes together with the sole purpose of agreement.” Collaborative music-making refines social skills and teaches the value of a shared triumph.

Music by immersion.

The learning experience is strengthened with frequent instruction. Young people are brought into the music experience often, as early in life as possible, and for as long as possible. Neither background nor ability is a barrier to participation.

Music for all.

All barriers to music education are removed, including physical or cognitive ability, ethnicity or belief, and most especially, lack of financial resources.

Music unites.

Music binds people together in a spirit of cooperation and peace. Although El Sistema programs run independent of one another and often customize their respective course, all are connected through regional, national and international associations, which unify the vision, and also provide opportunities for collaboration and mutual support.