Thursday, 16 February 2012

Social Change through Music: El Sistema and a Film That Meryl Streep Didn't Win an Oscar For

The New York Times has a fine story today about classical music bringing social change in Venezuale: "Fighting Poverty, Armed with Violins." El Sistema, an innovative way of making music matter change kids lives, was the subject of a conference at McGill last year, too.

The idea is nothing new, really: in 1999 Meryl Streep was nominated for an Oscar for playing a New York teacher who brought violins to a school in Harlem.

What is too bad is that people in power keep forgetting what an important role music can play in nurturing the young, raising their aspirations and giving everyone pleasure.

Memo to Stephen Harper and provincial premiers: Fiscal reformers should remember that keeping kids out of trouble is a lot more cost-effective that building prisons.

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