5 years ago

Music as a Global Resource: - International Council for Caring ...

Music as a Global Resource: - International Council for Caring ...


SECTION: Music for Sustainable Community Development COUNTRY: United States of America PROJECT: MUSIC FOR ECONOMICALLY DISENFRANCHISED YOUTH AND THEIR FAMILIES: YOUTH ORCHESTRA OF LOS ANGELES DESCRIPTION: Youth Orchestra L.A. (YOLA) is the Los Angeles Philharmonic‘s initiative to bring free, intensive after-school music instruction to children in underserved communities. YOLA is inspired by El Sistema, Venezuela‘s revolutionary youth orchestra movement. YOLA aims to act as an agent of social change by providing economically disenfranchised youth with the developmental, social and academic advantages that can be gained through the study of music. Music is used as an agent of social development because it transmits the highest values of any community – solidarity, harmony, and mutual compassion. YOLA also functions as a broader community engagement initiative, providing families with opportunities for music making while supporting their children‘s development. Currently, YOLA consists of three community-based programs: YOLA at EXPO, located in South L.A., serves students ages two to seventeen who participate in one of two beginning-level orchestras, chamber music, and group lessons up to 10 hours per week. The program began in 2007 and also includes an early childhood music program developed in collaboration with USC‘s Thornton School of Music, parent workshops, a recorder ensemble and a faculty performance series. YOLA at EXPO is a partnership of the LA Philharmonic Orchestra, the Harmony Project, and the EXPO Center, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks Facility. YOLA at HOLA, located in the Rampart District of LA, offers elementary and middle school students a uniquely intensive learning experience. For up to 15 hours per week, participants are immersed in instrument instruction, singing/solfège, musicianship, ensembles, and daily academic tutoring. The program was launched in 2010 and also offers parent musicianship class and access to exceptional social services. YOLA at HOLA is a partnership between LA Philharmonic Orchestra and the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) Community Center. In 2011, YOLA piloted its newest program, the YOLA Neighborhood Project (YNP). Inspired by the Harlem Children‘s Zone, YNP is an in-depth initiative aimed at building healthy communities in the two neighborhoods in which YOLA is currently situated. Through LA Philharmonic Orchestra‘s school programs, neighborhood concerts, and YOLA, YNP offers youth, families, and the community at large multiple entry points and opportunities to experience the world of music. CURRENT STATUS: Support for YOLA is provided by a combination of individuals, foundations, and corporations. The Board of the LA Philharmonic Orchestra is committed to YOLA for the long-term. Its program costs have become part of the institution‘s annual operating budget. Moreover, to make this type of work sustainable, the LA Philharmonic Orchestra splits program costs with each of the YOLA site‘s community partners. YOLA is also supported by a group of over fifty public and private music education and social service organizations who are invested in YOLA‘s mission. While this group does not provide monetary assistance, the YOLA Stakeholder Network convenes four times each year to think collaboratively about developing new orchestras for 26

underserved youth, pool resources to improve existing programs, and share achievements and best practices. The LA Philharmonic Orchestra‘s work through YOLA has proven that this educational model can have a dramatic impact in a short period of time. Four years after the program began, enrollment rose from 40 to 500 (with a wait list topping 100-plus interested students). YOLA is having a great impact on communities it serves and the greater Los Angeles County. In October 2009, 18,000 people witnessed the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl – with the youth orchestra from YOLA at EXPO. Since that time, the young musicians of YOLA have had unparalleled performance opportunities, playing on the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall, appearing on national television, and collaborating with world-famous musicians. Recognizing the need to disseminate best practices, the LA Phil developed an online resource library, a compilation of tips and guides for individuals interested in starting their own El Sistema-inspired programs. In addition, YOLA has been featured at the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and the Association of California Symphony Orchestra conferences. It served as a case study for representatives from 27 states and 6 countries during the first YOLA Symposium in 2010. RESEARCH AND EVALUATION: Program assessment focuses on five key areas: student success, teacher effectiveness, family impact, community awareness and institutional learning. Outcomes for the YOLA at EXPO program are measured in an Efforts-to-Outcomes database. This database captures longitudinal data, including attendance, musical progress, and demographics. Student success is measured by semi-annual juries / recitals, attendance, and report cards. Teachers are given observations and feedback, and parents receive an annual survey. Parents annually receive pre- and post- surveys. Institutional learning is measured through the Co-Arts Assessment protocol - an assessment tool designed by researchers at Harvard‘s Project Zero to capture progress made by arts education programs run out of community centers. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Publications: Photos and Videos: CONTACT INFORMATION: Organization: Los Angeles Philharmonic Association Address: 151 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012 Contact Person: Gretchen Nielsen, Director of Educational Initiatives Email: 27

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