Evan Perry, El Sistema Music Program Director at the East Somerville Community School was awarded a SEF classroom grant to organize performances and workshops by professional musicians for El Sistema Somerville students. El Sistema students were given the opportunity to witness invaluable professional performances at their school. Mr. Perry reported that the experience of working closely during the workshops with these professional musicians produced a noticeable increase in students’ overall self-esteem and confidence.
The two workshops offered to the students were run by Grooversity (Brazilian drumming) and the Arthur Terembula Group (Blues/Jazz duo). The workshops gave each student the opportunity to "improvise" and create their own music. Mr. Perry reported to SEF that Grooversity's workshop was a special one, especially for the younger (beginner musicians). The children were able to dance, sing and play drums along with the professional drumming group. The smiles and conversations about this event for days and weeks after by the students was heartwarming. This has spurred conversations amongst the El Sistema Somerville faculty and staff about how to incorporate more of these expressive elements into daily music classes.