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Sistema Aotearoa youth orchestra initiative launched

Hon Christopher Finlayson
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage
19 April 2011 Media Statement

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.”


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