Former CMW fellow Adrienne Taylor ('08-'10) spent time in Venezuela this past spring as a member of the Abreu Fellows program at the New England Conservatory. Her trip to Venezuela was to experience firsthand the incredible 35-year-old program know as El Sistema that you are likely already familiar with if you have been following this blog or if you are passionate about arts education.
The other students are surprisingly patient while they wait for their turn to play. The sections that are asked to play alone are not timid at all while the others listen. Everyone plays with a strong, confident tone. Once all of the students have successfully played their parts for the conductor, they join together at the end of the rehearsal to play the piece as a group. They are playing well, but the conductor doesn't let them be satisfied with their work. Now, she says, you have to fight. Between now and Saturday's concert you have to fight to play this the best that you can. This requires practice. Practice is very important. She points to the teaching assistants in the room and says, when they were your age, they were already playing El Danzon. They were playing El Danzon without mistakes. What would happen if we went to play in another city, or in another school, or in a hotel somewhere and we played with mistakes? What would people think? We have to fight to play our best.
Read more of Adrienne's account of her experience in her own words. Enjoy!