Sistema Tulsa: Education, Enrichment, Mentoring, Empowerment, and Social Change...Through Music

Sep 1, 2015

On this edition of ST, we learn about the nonprofit program known as Sistema Tulsa. Per its website, Sistema Tulsa "envisions how a comprehensive and inclusive music program can positively impact the social, cognitive, and aesthetic realms of youth development. Supported by partnerships with the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church and the Tulsa Public Schools, Sistema Tulsa plans to provide a model for accessible, ensemble-based music programs that enrich the lives of local youth across varied underserved communities. Inspired by the philosophy and values of El Sistema in Venezuela, the program aspires to grow and support youth musical ensembles that exemplify and nurture the pursuit of excellence and high aspiration.... The program is slated to begin in September of 2015." Our guest is José Luis Hernández-Estrada, founding director of Sistema Tulsa, who is also a musician and education advocate with degrees in music from Texas Christian University and the University of Texas Pan-American. Hernández-Estrada, who was also an orchestral conducting fellow at Bard College Conservatory of Music and received post-graduate training in piano at the Conservatori del Liceu in Barcelona, speaks both eloquently and incisively about the profound ways in which music can enrich the lives of students -- as well as the families and communities of those students. He further talks about how three fully-funded, distinct-yet-interrelated Sistema Tulsa programs (each intended for 4th and 5th graders) will soon get underway within the TPS district: at Burroughs, Chouteau, and Lee Elementary Schools.