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Corona Youth Music Project, Queens, NY
Alvaro Rodas, founder and director
The Corona Youth Music Project in Queens, New York City, is an example of how music education can be effective even with limited resources. Alvaro Rodas, the founder and director, started the program with no money, no kids, and no space. But he recognized a community that did not have access to quality music education or after-school programs and wanted to create an opportunity for the children living there.
With support from parents, volunteers, and the students themselves, the program nurtures young musicians and builds their confidence as performers. They give back to their community by performing with their teachers at a local senior citizen center.
Peer mentoring — initially a strategy for addressing a shortage of teaching staff — has become an essential and empowering aspect of the program. Musical language camp helps younger students develop and retain skills, and thrive as part of a musical community, over the summer.
EL SISTEMA PRINCIPLES
The musical activities in this unit address the following Anchor Standards of the National Core Arts Standards: