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Scotland’s first cellist talks up Sistema

May 21, 2015 by norman lebrecht

5 comments.


Sistema Scotland has received an ‘extremely positive’ report from the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, which says it has ‘the potential to significantly enhance participants’ lives, prospects, health and wellbeing.’

Sistema’s Big Noise has been teaching children in Raploch since 2008 and Govanhill since 2013.

The First Minister is a fan.

nicola sturgeon cellist

Nicola Sturgeon and Fiona Hyslop at Holy Cross Primary School in Govanhill. Photo: Chris Watt/Scottish Govt.


Comments (5)

  1. T-ARAFANBOY says:

    Of course it’s not about music, but an evil totalitarian plan inspired by alien forces aiming to take over the world under the guise of “enhancing participants’ lives, prospects, health and wellbeing” through music. ( >﹏< )

    http://slippedisc.com/2015/05/dudamel-is-named-a-collaborator-with-torture-regime/

    Ha ha ha! Let's face the facts. El Sistema is a damn good thing, which can only bring good to communities, as has been seen by its replication in all parts of the world ranging from Scotland, Portugal, Brazil and much more…

    1. enemigopublico says:

      Interested to know what “facts” we’re supposed to be facing. Is it a “damn good thing” because it’s big? Because it’s got lots of money? Because it’s getting bigger? Because it says it helps people? HSBC does all of that.

      1. T-ARAFANBOY says:

        Well firstly the ‘musical’ facts, as anyone who cares, and understands the slightest thing about music now knows (and I don’t mean just ‘improvisations’ on the same tired-out old theme),
        then the various inspiring reports from all over the world, such as the above, that I guess are actually ‘factual’.
        Maybe not all such programs are exact replicas of El Sistema, and long-term outcome is still not clear, and more ‘methodological innovation’ is indeed needed, but the core principles are the same as El Sistema.
        Anyway, whatever you say, now 1000s, 100,000s of kids have the chance to do music and to have better opportunities than they ever would have had before.
        Sure, El Sistema is not perfect, and has its problems like any organization/body that has become so huge and has been around a long time, but just to condemn it outright is rather pitiful.

        1. enemigopublico says:

          If by “facts” you mean “things that a lot of people believe to be true,” then yes, it’s a fact that El Sistema is a miraculous success. It’s also a fact that Saddam Hussein was behind the Twin Towers and that lots of Americans have been abducted by aliens. In reality, things are more complicated than that. If you follow the link in the post below, you’ll see that the “inspiring report” on Sistema Scotland is based on a discredited methodology. There are no reliable reports of the Venezuelan program, and therefore very few “facts” to support an argument beyond saying that El Sistema is very big and has lots of money.

  2. enemigopublico says:

    Tom Service shows that it’s a bit more complicated than that: http://www.theguardian.com/music/tomserviceblog/2015/may/20/el-sistema-scotland-positive-outcomes-across-the-board.

    This report rests on El Sistema’s very own “dodgy dossier.”


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