MUS 1600 El Sistema



Rita Simo Scholars


Meet the first class of musicians in the very first Undergraduate Certificate in Music for Social Change in the United States!

This semester, I have the privilege to teach a course on El Sistema at North Park University in Chicago as part of this exciting new Certificate Program. Our diverse class includes students from El Sistema programs in Brazil, Ecuador and Costa Rica. In this introductory class, we are examining El Sistema in Venezuela and other successful Sistema-inspired programs throughout the world, exploring concepts in music for social change and highlighting local arts organizations with missions that align with Sistema philosophy.

This past week, Rita Simó, founder of The People’s Music School, visited MUS 1600 and shared her fascinating story of creating the first, totally free, community music school in the U.S. It was an especially significant experience for two of our international students who are currently attending North Park University on a 4-year scholarship in her name.

For more information about North Park University’s Undergraduate Certificate in Music for Social Change, please visit

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