The English Program for Young Musicians Ends on a High Note.
Music is the universal language. Musicians who speak English can get their artistic message across to more listeners. When such performers are children and teens, their musical careers will go even greater distances into the hearts of many families, friends, and audiences. VenTESOL, promising youth, expert teachers, and the U.S. Embassy in Caracas have made it happen again!
The English Program for Young Musicians in La Victoria, 2012-2014, reaching very young learners from the National Youth Orchestra System, Chapter Aragua, held its closing ceremony last June 28 at La Victoria Park and Station, where 49 of the initial 50 students successfully completed their development of basic ELL skills.
This specific “nucleus” (community music center) in La Victoria, Aragua State, is part of the National Network of Youth and Children Orchestras of Venezuela, its official name. Such network, which musicians and scholars worldwide have dubbed by its moniker in Spanish, “El Sistema”, was founded in 1975 by Venezuelan educator, musician and activist José Antonio Abreu. After forty years, El Sistema has trained 700,000 young musicians and spans over 400 music centers. It has been an example of multilateral, non-partisan patronage from public, private, national, and foreign organizations, and a global benchmark of social programs for talented youth. Through classical music training and concert tours, kids and teens have a shot at breaking the poverty cycle and broaden a range of future career opportunities.
VenTESOL’s program further adds social value to El Sistema’s efforts in its La Victoria community music center. By means of English language acquisition featuring topics related to American culture, children part of this local “nucleus” will be better equipped for future formal instruction in high school education and career opportunities in music. Seeking both efficiency and effectiveness, Professors Dioreling Medina and Yeidi Parra, graduated from UPEL Maracay, deliberately targeted their ELT strategies integrating Total Physical Response activities framed in a Natural Approach-supported course to students ages 7 to 9, as they are still at a non-touring stage of El Sistema’s musical training. Such period allows these children to develop good attendance and discipline habits, as well as an excellent behavior, crucial to developing both musical and English skills.
The closing ceremony consisted of an English Immersion Day, allowing learners to engage in everyday situations using English, thereby proving the effectiveness and relevance of the activities devised by the teachers with resources donated by the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Language and Cultural Affairs. It was a day full of fun, friendship and fulfillment in celebration of achievements and setting of new goals!!
We want to share with you the joy and privilege of being part of life-changing experiences like this. Take the initiative and organize an ELT Community Program by pooling talent, expertise, and resources from your colleagues, nearby educational institutions, along with us at VenTESOL and our partners. Contact us. Together we’re teachers helping teachers!
By Andrés Ramos, Editor, with report by Mary Allegra, President.
Photos: Mary Allegra
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By Andrés Ramos, Editor, with report by Mary Allegra, President
Photos: Mary Allegra
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