As school budgets for music education are being cut across the country because of school districts' financial hardships, some private inner-city music education programs continue to flourish and prove their value to students' overall education.
Modeled after Venezuela's government-funded national music program called El Sistema, these programs give free music lessons to children during and after school. Teachers and parents say the music programs build students' confidence and help them perform better in other subjects as well.
As for the students, they say playing music is a highlight of their day and teaches them self-confidence and determination.
"Sometimes, it's hard not to smile. Like, every time when I finish school and I come into Harmony, when I just hit that first note, it makes me smile." - Julian Deshommes, Harmony Program violin student
"I can't imagine my life without music, especially on my violin. Me and my violin is, like, best friends." - Lexy Ramkissoon, Harmony Program violin student
1. Do you play a musical instrument? If so, what do you like about it?
2. Does your school provide you the opportunity to learn a musical instrument for free?
3. Why are some schools currently struggling with their budgets?
1. Do you think all of the students in the video will grow up to be professional musicians? Does it matter?
2. What do you think Placido Domingo means in this video when he says "Music is mathematics. Everything, it goes into numbers?" Do you agree with him?
3. How is the Harmony program modeled after the El Sistema program in Venezuela? How are they similar? How are they different?