YEREVAN—Fifty children between the ages of 9 and 17 are waiting in line to join the Sistema Armenia Youth Orchestra (SAYO). With 2 cellos, 4 basses and 4 violas the existing SAYO group of 40 young musicians can nearly double in size. Non-profit organization, ONEArmenia is using crowdfunding to buy them the instruments they need so they can stop waiting and start playing.
Music schools are very common in Armenia. However, the vast majority of them use teaching methods that are individualistic, lacking the ability to work together for a common goal. That’s where Sistema comes in. Sistema Armenia builds a community atmosphere where children learn to work together to create art. It also breaks away from old methods of teaching one on one in the classroom into the streets where art becomes public and for the people.
“Armenia is so focused on soloists and doesn’t give our kids much of an opportunity to work together,” said Anna Mikaelian Meschian, Founder & Executive Director of SAYO. “Playing together in an orchestra is a very special and joyful experience, which requires us to listen to each other, to care about details, to communicate, and to overcome all kinds of difficulties together. Experiencing the power of a moment created in unity with others is really all the kids need. The hunger for this sort of way of thinking, working and living is palpable in Armenia.”
Anna was inspired by El Sistema, which was founded 38 years ago in a parking garage in Venezuela with 11 children. It now teaches music to 400,000 of Venezuela’s poorest children, demonstrating the power of ensemble music to dramatically change the lives of thousands of youth while transforming the communities around them.
Sistema Armenia has only just begun and has the potential to grow indefinitely – creating jobs and building communities with youth orchestras popping up all over Armenia. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Learn more, contribute, and spread the word by visiting the Indiegogo page.
ONEArmenia is a non-profit organization that crowd-funds and crowd-sources innovative projects that shift Armenia’s educational, environmental, humanitarian and cultural progress forward. The ONEArmenia network makes it possible to not only raise money for a project based in Armenia as a worldwide community, but to also transparently report progress of projects from start to finish.