News & Events

NTY: Venerated High Priest and Humble Servant of Music Education

The following article was published in the Sunday edition of the New York Times: Venerated High Priest and Humble Servant of Music. We repost it here so everyone can enjoy it.

Music: Joy for the Journey

On Saturday, February 25th, the kindergarteners of Garden Place Academy took an important step: they graduated to the orchestra where real violins await them. Below are pictures taken during the event and Dr. Diana Howard’s thoughts on the kindergarteners’ achievement.


Before El SistemaOur StageOur tools ......for sound......and order.Those who help usIt takes concentration ...... hard work ...... drive ...... and fun!This is who we are!And where we will go.And where we will go.

Photographs by Brigid Mcauliffe and provided courtesy of The Piton Foundation.


Dressed in their best, Garden Place Academy’s kindergarteners prepared for the event they had been waiting for …their “graduation” from paper violins to REAL violins!  There were excited families, beaming children …in all, 300 strong… hurrying down the halls toward the Garden Place auditorium for our second El Sistema Colorado Celebration.


Dr. Diana Howard

First, the kindergarteners performed with aplomb, singing all verses of A Fox Went Out on a Snowy Night, showing their expertise with rhythm instruments, and, with amazing precision, bowing their paper violins to Twinkle, Twinkle and Marry Had a Little Lamb with the accompaniment of a violist playing the tunes.

But most important, their faces glowed with pride and joy at all they had learned in a few short weeks of daily El Sistema classes. (more…)

Prepare the Pomp and Circumstance

by Monika Vischer, El Sistema Colorado President
February 23, 2012


Kindergartners are ready for the Paper Violin Orchestra Graduation this Saturday. It is their right of passage to receiving real violins. With a few bridges, tail pieces and strings to attach to all 73 actual-size paper mache violins, we’re nearly ready.


Garden Place Student with Paper Violin

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