Citizens or subjects? El Sistema in critical perspective

José Antonio Abreu, founder of the Venezuelan youth orchestra programme
El Sistema, claims that ‘when you train musicians you train better citizens’, while conductor Gustavo Dudamel believes that ‘the best example there is of what a community can be is the orchestra’.

Presented by Geoffrey Baker (Royal Holloway University of London), this talk, drawing on extensive research in Venezuela, shines a critical light on these statements and on the broader question of music education and citizenship.

Image credit: Orchestra (c) Clive Totman