The children are provided with a healthy snack, then proceed to learn an orchestral instrument in a group setting, and participate in musicianship, orchestra rehearsal and choir. Through the learning of instruments such as violins, flutes, and trombones, the program values positive reinforcement and the experience of the child, with many exciting performances and cultural excursions planned. There is a focus on peer teaching and mentorship - bestowing upon the children a sense of responsibility as well as facilitating inspiration through role-model behaviour amongst children of similar ages. Making music together forms bonds based on friendship, teamwork, trust, respect, harmony, mutual compassion and joy.
Learning to play a musical instrument and gaining skills through music reading, singing and performance are important cognitive processes which are understood to enhance children's abilities in other areas of learning - particularly in literacy, numeracy, and memory. As well as developing impressive musical skills, artistic sensitivity and expressive capabilities, children in Sistema Australia programs are able to gain valuable life skills such as teamwork, self-esteem, patience, discipline, respect and concentration.
As El Sistema's founder, Jose Antonio Abreu states:
“An orchestra is a community where the essential and exclusive feature is that it is the only community that comes together with the fundamental objective of agreeing with itself. Agree on what? To create beauty...”
The self-development and community-development goals of Sistema Australia will help our country’s children to grow up with the ability to work compassionately and cooperatively with their peers, afford them valuable employment skills in music performance, teaching, and other areas of occupation, and will enrich deeply the local and national cultural landscape.