El Sistema Serbia and the Music Art Project

How many children benefit from El Sistema Serbia and where does it operate?
El Sistema Serbia currently works with 600 children from 7 cities and 34 teachers. The El Sistema Serbia Network includes centers in Belgrade, Bujanovac, Ćuprija, Jagodina, Novi Sad, Obrenovac, Paraćin, Surdulica and Vranje. Each center, or “nucleus”, is a separately organised educational unit that implements programs inspired by El Sistema in cooperation with other stakeholders.

When was the Music Art Project founded?
The Music Art Project (MAP) was founded in 2010 and in 2014 it became formally associated with the global El Sistema network.

How does the government support MAP?
The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia and is implemented in primary schools, music schools, centers for social work and cultural centers, as well as local self-government units.

What is the mission of MAP?
MAP was founded with the mission “to contribute, in cooperation with other artistic areas, through quality and innovative music-educational programs to the long-term development of the social community and culture in Serbia” and it aims to achieve this through “quality and innovative music education programs and cooperation with players from other artistic areas”

What are some of the social benefits of MAP?
MAP doesn’t only focus on developing the children’s and youths’ musical skills, but rather music is also used to achieve the overall goal of personal growth and fostering the development of the young people in general. Through the joy of music making and socialising the children can reach these goals because they develop a range of very important social skills such as self-esteem, curiosity, responsibility, persistence, better personal relationships, social responsibility, motivation to strive, capacity for critical thinking and active listening skills

What is the link between music and social sustainability?
Music is a universal language that everyone can use to express and process emotions. The positive benefits of music regarding the development of children have been widely acknowledged in academic literature. Listening to certain types of music for example can help reduce stress levels or enhance cognitive and emotional abilities. Playing together with others in an orchestra or singing in a choir offers children the opportunity to socialise and they develop social skills while working toward common goals, with each young person using their unique strengths and abilities.

What are the target groups of MAP?
The target groups of the organisation’s work include children and music teachers, as well as music and artistic circles in Serbia who are interested in supporting new educational initiatives. Children from vulnerable and marginalized backgrounds particularly benefit from the program.

What are some of the MAP activities?

A major focus of MAP is the organization of accredited professional meetings, master classes, workshops, seminars and conferences aimed at providing training and professional development for education personnel in Serbia. More than 500 music teachers have already benefited from accredited professional development meetings.

There is a big El Sistema Serbia concert every year.

The young Sistema musicians from Paraćin, Jagodina and Ćuprija together form a regional orchestra. This orchestra has already performed at a number of major events in Serbia such as the opening of The Civil Society Forum of the Western Balkans at the Western Balkans Summit, the Chopin Festival or the big annual El Sistema Serbia concert in April 2017.

The Erasmus+ Project “Pinocchio joins the orchestra” is a project for social inclusion through the universal language of music. It also aims to use innovative digital platforms to encourage cooperation and integration.