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El Sistema in Sweden - a radical music education program?

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Monica Lindgren
Åsa Bergman
Eva Saether
Publicerad i Abstracts senior researchers, NNMPF 2014
Volym 2014
Sidor 5
Publiceringsår 2014
Publicerad vid Institutionen för kulturvetenskaper
Högskolan för scen och musik
Sidor 5
Språk en
Länkar www.kmh.se/nordisk-nettverk-for-mus...
Ämnesord musik, undervisning, El Sistema
Ämneskategorier Musik, Pedagogik


This paper is based on two ongoing ethnographical studies of El Sistema in Gothenburg and Malmö. The music education programme El Sistema developed in Venezuela in the 1970s and was founded in Sweden in 2010. It developed in Gothenburg as a collaboration between the Community School of Music and Art in the suburban district Hammarkullen in Gothenburg and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (GSO). Today El Sistema is spread all over Sweden. El Sistema started in Malmö 2013/2014 at two schools in multicultural Holma and Kroksbäck districts. Here the activity is not a project, but a part of the regular activities at the municipal music school (Kulturskolan i Malmö). This permanent solution is a result of political priorities and earmarked resources. The objective of El Sistema is to use music as a vehicle for individual and social development and to serve as an intercultural meeting place where children growing up in all kinds of neighbourhoods, from different socio-economic conditions, and with different ethnic backgrounds can develop personally, socially, and musically. However, focusing on social development does not mean that musical quality is seen as unimportant. Instead, high musical quality is seen as being created through strong social cohesion. There is also a belief that hard and goal-oriented work among the children is necessary if they are to reach their full potential as musicians. The empirical material, gathered during 2011–2013, includes official documents, interviews with participants and observations of music lessons and concerts in Gothenburg and Malmö. Three different perspectives are going to be discussed during this presentation: (1) El Sistema as music education research project - why? (2) The ethnographical method (3) results and preliminary results from 3 different partial studies focusing ideology/legitimization, music and democracy and teachers/children/identity.

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