Giving the youth of Watsonville/Pajaro Valley the keys to claim their musical heritage and the tools to build their creative and social legacy through music education.
El Sistema Santa Cruz is a visionary movement that uses ensemble music to transform the lives of children by teaching the importance of teamwork, promoting self-confidence, and instilling the value of social responsibility.
More than classic music instruction, El Sistema Santa Cruz addresses the development of executive functioning skills that are foundational building blocks for the development of cognitive and social capacities. They are skills such as self control, self regulation, focus and discipline, all components of academic and social success.
What we do:
El Sistema Santa Cruz brings free music instruction every day after school. Students are met at the end of their school day by El Sistema’ teachers and gather for a healthy snacks. The pre-orchestra students then proceed to a circuit of ensemble vocals and musical games. They learn about the orchestra by creating playable instruments and listening to guest instrumentalists. Rhythm and pitch are taught through musical games. Orff instruments are used to teach ensemble dynamics. By third grade, students start playing instruments including violins, cellos, clarinets, flutes, brass and percussion. In the spring, all kindergartners (one hundred) are introduced to El Sistema with a developmentally appropriate 6-week 2-day per week,1-hour session after spring break introducing singing, rhythm and musical games and are introduced to the orchestra by attending one performance a week.
- Create a program that supports the intellectual, emotional, and social development of students.
- Create an environment that is safe, happy and fun and promotes self-esteem.
- Ensure El Sistema Santa Cruz leaders and teaching artists are committed to fostering a nurturing environment to create exceptional citizens more than exceptional musicians.
- Build a curriculum that develops group competence and personal competence.
- Develop mentors among El Sistema Santa Cruz students who will help train newer students.
- Engage parents and the community so all feel a welcome part of El Sistema Santa Cruz.
- Nurture students’ commitment to their community.
- Foster musical and academic skills as well as curiosity and self-confidence.
- Take personal, educational and artistic risks that supports long-term success for students.
• Children learn to present themselves professionally and in public.
• Children realize the importance of making positive decisions that ultimately impact others and themselves.