With numerous school budget cuts across the country, the schools getting hit the hardest, are those in low-income neighborhoods. As program after program gets dismantled, teachers are worried about the activities students will engage in during their newly-found free-time.
Twenty-nine-year-old, classical music phenomenon Gustavo Dudamel, the youngest maestro of a major orchestra in the world, has brought a program that he says, saved him, from Venezuela to Los Angeles, where he is the director of the L.A. Philharmonic.
“Can you imagine classical music for everybody? You know, this is a crazy dream. But it’s true, because it’s happening,” Dudamel told CBS’s 60 Minutes.
The program, The Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA), is based on the Venezuela’s “El Sistem” or The System. It is a social program that brings classical music to millions of children in a way that is fresh, exciting and engaging.
“We [want to] develop extraordinary human beings, one by one,” explained Gretchen Nielsen, the philharmonic’s education director who also runs YOLA. “We’re really striving to change the landscape of Los Angeles, we [want to] see these kids graduate, we want to see them just connect to the world in ways that they might not have normally otherwise and we [want to] see it across this city.”
Via 60 Minutes