El Sistema began with 12 street children learning violin 30 years ago. Today that scheme has 500,000 members and there are now around 40 professional orchestras in Venezuela – a country once famous for being a nation of slums is now a nation of culture!
The scheme at the Church of the Resurrection has grown from having a handful of children learning the violin to now having around 40 children learning a variety of orchestral instruments including violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, cornet and trombone. Any child who either lives, or attends a school, in Ely or Caerau is entitled to join – beginners are usually started in September following attendance at the week-long summer school. For just £2.00 per week they are provided with an instrument and high quality teaching.
Our children come from most of the local Primary and Secondary schools and they are taught by a combination of professional musicians and students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
In order to discover a desire to learn an instrument children must first be exposed to live music, and so we run regular inter-active concerts, our Feel Good Fridays, which are attended by around 120 local school children on Friday afternoons in term time. The performers are usually students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and the concerts provide a valuable platform for them to develop their musical outreach skills.
The MMCL team believe that music enables participants to flourish, developing an increased sense of self worth, confidence, raised aspirations, and an improved quality of life. Our work brings together people of all ages, creating strong community spirit and a deep sense of pride through musical achievement.