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Sistema Aotearoa youth orchestra initiative launched

A new Government initiative will give young people the chance to participate in orchestral music, Arts Culture and Heritage Minister Christopher Finlayson said today.

Mr Finlayson today launched Sistema Aotearoa, a New Zealand version of the successful El Sistema programme which has helped young people around the world to participate in orchestral music and develop important skills. 

The  pilot programme, based in Otara, will be managed by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. The  APO has developed a programme of instruction and teaching  after school and during the holidays.

“The results of El Sistema in countries as different as Venezuela, Scotland and Portugal speak for themselves,” Mr Finlayson said. “Like team sports, involvement in an orchestra helps the development of organisation, cooperation, interdependence, commitment and trust.”

“On an individual level, it can help young people develop skills such as coordination, memory, and emotional intelligence. And that is without even mentioning the most obvious benefit of all – the sheer enjoyment of playing and making music with others.”

“While South Auckland, where the  pilot  is  taking place, has a rich cultural and musical tradition”, Mr Finlayson said, “Sistema Aotearoa will give young people in the community improved access to the unique challenges and rewards of orchestral music.”


Updated on 23rd July 2015