Play On, Philly!, an El Sistema-inspired afterschool music program in Philadelphia, is reporting positive preliminary findings from an independent study by the arts consulting group WolfBrown. The study documents improvements among children participating in the program, including the following: when compared to a control group, POP students scored on average 10 points higher on standardized tests; received higher grades in English and math; and had 30 percent fewer absences from school than non-POP students. Students in the program are loaned instruments and receive daily instruction in instrumental, general music, choir, composition, and ensemble instruction, as well as master classes with visiting artists. 250 children are currently enrolled in the program, which was founded in 2011 by trumpet player Stanford Thompson, a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program. WolfBrown and the Longy School of Music of Bard College are in the midst of studying several Sistema-inspired music education programs in the U.S. For more details about the study, click here.
Posted October 2, 2014