Upbeat New Hampshire connects young musicians to the most qualified and accomplished music educators. Upbeat invests in young musicians with the knowledge that anyone can become an outstanding musician through consistent excellence in practice and instruction. With emphasis on sustained instruction, rigorous expectations, and strong relationships, Upbeat responds to the belief that high-quality music education should be available to facilitate economic and social mobility for all, regardless of identity, means, and location.
Eight years ago, when Upbeat New Hampshire (formerly Sinfonietta Strings) was formed, we were inspired by “El Sistema.” El Sistema began in Venezuela 40 years ago when Dr. Abreu created a model of how a music program can both create great musicians and dramatically change the life trajectory of thousands of children. El Sistema is a social change/youth development program that uses ensemble music to enable every child to experience being an asset within her or his community. El Sistema develops responsible, joyful, contributing citizens. Students feel an ownership of the music making process, taking responsibility for both individual and group improvement. The orchestra acts as a model society in which an atmosphere of competition between individuals is replaced by shared aspiration and investment. An orchestra is a place for students to learn to listen and respect one another. Smaller ensembles of many kinds adopt the same group-minded ethos. We are proud that, following review of our program, El Sistema USA has named Upbeat New Hampshire as a member.