(image by jrossol on flickr)
Gustavo Dudamel, the Venezuelan-born conductor of the L.A. Phil, owes most of his own musical education to El Sistema, a public music awareness and education system in his homeland. He’s been trying to replicate it here. This endeavor is called YOLA. El Sistema has transformed the lives for many Venezuelan children, and Dudamel hopes YOLA will transform the lives for Californian ones, as well.
So why am I listing this here? Because it is a free resource for your kids to have healthy fun! 60 local schools are part of the program. They include Foshay Learning Center, West Adams Prep, and Commonwealth Elementary. Hopefully, YOLA will continue to expand. Children receive instruments and instruction for free.
If your child or that of a friend lives in the USC or Rampart neighborhood, check out the YOLA website to see if they qualify for this fabulous, fun, and free arts initiative.
[Update to this post: see article at this link: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2103335,00.html?xid=gonewsedit&google_editors_picks=true]