ROCHA-DISSERTATION-2016

Insights to El Sistema Practices at the Music Learning Center of San Antonio, Texas
by
Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, B.F.A., M.A., M.M.,
A Dissertation
In
Fine Arts
Submitted to the Graduate Faculty
of Texas Tech University in
Partial Fulfillment of
the Requirements for
the Degree of
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
Approved
Dr. Michael Stoune
As Committee Chair
Dr. Peter Fischer
Dr. Linda Donahue
Dr. Stacey Jocoy
Prof. Genevieve Durham
Mark Sheridan
Dean of the Graduate School
December, 2016
Copyright 2016, Aurelia Rocha
Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
Table of Contents
Abstract ............................................................................................................................. vii
Preface.............................................................................................................................. viii
1. Background and History ..................................................................................................1
Statement of the Problem .................................................................................................1
Purpose of the Study ........................................................................................................3
The questions that drove this study are: .................................................................................. 4
Terms in the Study for Complete Clarity .........................................................................5
El Sistema.........................................................................................................................6
Beginnings................................................................................................................................ 7
Expansion................................................................................................................................. 9
Today...................................................................................................................................... 10
El Sistema in the U.S. and Beyond .................................................................................12
Dr. Abreu’s TED Wish ........................................................................................................... 12
El Sistema Fellows ................................................................................................................. 13
Legacy of the Sistema Fellows ............................................................................................... 15
History and Establishment of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio .............................16
Growth ................................................................................................................................... 16
Turmoil and Expansion .......................................................................................................... 17
Music Learning Center Development History ...............................................................18
2. Method of Research .......................................................................................................22
Methodology and Conceptual Framework of the Study: ...............................................22
Why Qualitative Research?.................................................................................................... 22
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Case Study .............................................................................................................................. 24
Role of the Researcher from Outsider to Insider back to Outsider ....................................... 25
Research from Within the Study ............................................................................................. 26
Data Collection ..............................................................................................................28
Observations .......................................................................................................................... 29
Interviews and Questionnaires .............................................................................................. 29
Document-based data collection............................................................................................ 30
Validity and Reliability .......................................................................................................... 30
3. Theories of Social Change in Arts and Education .........................................................33
Literature Review ...........................................................................................................33
Social Change ................................................................................................................33
Arts Influence in Society ........................................................................................................ 35
Social Change and Educators................................................................................................ 38
Arts Organizations and Arts Education in Texas Public Schools.......................................... 39
4. The Music Learning Center Becomes YOSA MÁS ......................................................43
Concerns About the Music Learning Center .................................................................43
How “Sistema” Do We Need to Be?...................................................................................... 43
Ability to Exhibit the Ideals of El Sistema ............................................................................. 45
Leadership.............................................................................................................................. 46
Direction ................................................................................................................................ 47
Transition to YOSA MÁS ...............................................................................................48
Going Dark ............................................................................................................................ 48
Planning for the Pilot Year of YOSA MÁS............................................................................. 50
Creating Alignment ................................................................................................................ 52
Measuring Outcomes ............................................................................................................. 58
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5. Close of YOSA MÁS.....................................................................................................63
The questions that drove this study are: ................................................................................ 63
Infrastructure ......................................................................................................................... 64
Curriculum and Instruction ................................................................................................... 65
Funding .................................................................................................................................. 66
Outcomes................................................................................................................................ 66
The Close of YOSA MÁS ................................................................................................68
The Roosevelt Compact.......................................................................................................... 68
Plans for future programs ..............................................................................................70
Case for Need......................................................................................................................... 71
Year Two of YOSA MÁS (After Pilot Year) ............................................................................ 71
Bibliography ......................................................................................................................75
Appendix A ........................................................................................................................85
Timeline – YOSA, me, & El Sistema ..............................................................................85
2012--The fourth year and last year of the program at Good Sam ....................................... 85
2013/2014 .............................................................................................................................. 85
Summer 2014 ......................................................................................................................... 86
Appendix B ........................................................................................................................88
Memorandum of Understanding ....................................................................................88
Introduction: .......................................................................................................................... 88
Purpose: ................................................................................................................................. 88
Scope:..................................................................................................................................... 89
Definitions: ............................................................................................................................ 89
Teaching Artists and YOSA Staff ........................................................................................... 89
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Emergency Procedures and Student Safety ........................................................................... 90
Instruments and Other Supplies Needed for Teaching .......................................................... 90
Transportation of Students ..................................................................................................... 90
Classrooms and Performance Space ..................................................................................... 91
Maintenance........................................................................................................................... 93
Liability .................................................................................................................................. 93
Funding .................................................................................................................................. 93
Oversight ................................................................................................................................ 94
Updates to the MOU: ............................................................................................................. 94
Appendix C ........................................................................................................................95
Phases of the Sistema Fellows Program ........................................................................95
Phase I: Sept-Oct: Orientation, Understanding of El Sistema .............................................. 95
Phase II: Oct-Nov: Fieldwork ............................................................................................... 95
Phase III: Nov-Dec: Research, Evaluation, and Assessment ................................................ 95
Phase IV: Jan-March: Building and Practicing Skills .......................................................... 95
Phase V: April: Venezuelan Residency .................................................................................. 96
Phase VI: May: Reflection and Graduation .......................................................................... 96
Appendix D ........................................................................................................................97
List of El Sistema Fellows: .................................................................................................... 97
Appendix E ........................................................................................................................99
YOSA MÁS end of year survey .......................................................................................99
Appendix F.......................................................................................................................101
Examples of student surveys ........................................................................................101
Appendix G ......................................................................................................................103
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Results from YOSA MÁS student surveys: ...................................................................103
Appendix H ......................................................................................................................108
40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents....................................................................108
Appendix I .......................................................................................................................112
Driving goals of Excel Beyond the Bell .......................................................................112
Appendix J .......................................................................................................................113
Instrument Take Home Contract for Students and Parents .........................................113
Appendix K ......................................................................................................................117
IRB Letter .....................................................................................................................117
Appendix L ......................................................................................................................118
Proposal for Researching Human Subjects .................................................................118
Appendix M .....................................................................................................................125
YOSA MÁS Recruiting Letter .......................................................................................125
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Abstract
Research while engaged as an active participant in the study, can provide a
prospective that might be unavailable from a strictly outsider’s view. For smaller
programs or programs that might be just starting up an insider’s viewpoint gives the
reader something to grasp or something with which to identify as they navigate their own
programs and organizations. This dissertation describes the journey of one researcher as
she moved from an outsider role to an insider role during her inquiry into one American
version of an El Sistema inspired program in San Antonio, Texas.
Using qualitative methodology which includes interviews, observations, and the
study of printed documents, a narrative was created to describe a program designed to
provide students on the west side of San Antonio, Texas access to rigorous, high quality
music education in strings based on the Venezuelan youth orchestra model called El
Sistema. Prospective provided in this study will be able to offer others in the nonprofit
arts education field a chance to find similarities of experience in an attempt to offer
pathways to success for their organizations.
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Preface
One bright, cool afternoon a small group of children walks down a busy street on
the west side of San Antonio, Texas. All of them are carrying instruments. The street they
walk along is full of shops and noisy cars. Stores they pass have all kinds of tempting
things: pastries and candies, electronic games and toys with blinking lights, everything
that small children love.
A small girl, Esperanza, runs to catch up to the rest. On her back she carries a
cello in a soft black case. She is wearing hand-me-downs from an older sister, but she is
unconcerned…all of the little girls in her group have on clothes that have been past down
to them. The girls talk excitedly, Esperanza laughing and joking along with her friends.
As they move closer to their destination, they are joined by other groups of children.
Everyone has an instrument, some as big as the children themselves. There are big brassy
tubas, violins in brightly colored cases, and cloth bags full of mallets and sticks. They
enter a nearby building. The little cellist separates from her friends and goes into a
classroom.
Esperanza’s classroom, which is small and sparsely decorated, has many
functions. During the day, it serves college music students as they work on music theory
and ear training. In the afternoons, it is a practice room for chamber groups. Evenings,
the little cellist and her classmates use it for their music lessons. In one corner stands an
old upright piano. The instrument is scratched and always out of tune from the abuse it
suffers at the hands of the college students. On two walls are green chalkboards with
music staves painted across their length. There are no windows, only harsh fluorescent
lights; the floor is covered with ugly blue-green industrial strength carpeting.
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Teachers have set up the room prior to the arrival of the students. The desks have
been pushed back against the walls, leaving one row for parents who might come to
watch the class. In the center, chairs are set up for the students with one chair facing
them; this is for the lead teacher of the class. As the children begin to file in, they sit on
the floor and unpack their cellos. Esperanza sits in the middle of the row setting up her
instrument next to her chair, bow on one side, cello on the other. Teachers come around
to each of the students and help them tune their instruments. As they work, they chat
easily with each of the girls. The atmosphere is one of friendly good will. The students
are comfortable with their teachers; they know them well, and work with them often.
The teachers are all music students in the college with varied teaching
experience. Each has been selected because of their interest in working with children and
music. They pull from their own experiences as students as they teach. Esperanza
watches closely as one of the teachers tunes her cello. He explains to her how tuning is
done while turning the pegs of the instrument to change the pitch. The cello is very out of
tune today, and Esperanza shyly admits that it fell over on its bridge. Her teacher
explains to her why she must be careful, but he is sure to let her know that the instrument
is not broken, only out of tune and can be easily fixed.
The lead teacher calls the class to attention and the students scramble to their
seats. As they sit with their cellos, the other teachers move about the room. They adjust
arms and feet to get the girls into better positions with their instruments. Once the
students are set, the class begins. The girls are excited because they have been told that
today they will learn a new piece. This piece is the one that they will play with the rest of
the classes in the recital being performed by the music school. Everyone in the class is
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looking forward to playing with their friends. The teacher begins the lesson by playing
the new piece, which they recognize instantly. Esperanza gasps with happiness; her older
sister learned this piece when she first started violin! The teachers readjust the
enthusiastic, wiggling students. Once ready, they begin.
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Chapter 1
Background and History
Statement of the Problem
When students participate in arts learning they acquire cognitive characteristics,
or soft skills, that have been recognized as important to the future success of all adults in
the 21st century (National Govenors Association Center for Best Practices, 2002). These
skills include: perception of relationships, finding multiple solutions to problems,
attention to nuance, adaptability, decision-making and, visualization of goals and
outcomes (National Govenors Association Center for Best Practices, 2002). The Arts
Education Partnership (2002) has stated that, “While learning in other disciplines may
often focus on development of a single skill or talent, the arts regularly engage multiple
skills and abilities. Engagement in the arts—whether the visual arts, dance, music, theatre
or other disciplines—nurtures the development of cognitive, social, and personal
competencies” (p. ix). Additionally, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2009) has
identified proficiencies needed to help children navigate the multi-dimensional abilities
required of them as they move into adulthood and begin their careers. These needed skills
include such assets as information and communication, thinking and self-direction, global
knowledge and understanding, financial and economic business literacy, developing
entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace productivity and career options, and civic
literacy (Framework for 21st Century Skills, 2009, p. 1). As children move into
adulthood, they need to have acquired skills that will allow them to find success in the
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workforce. While concrete skills are important, soft skills are becoming recognized as
important to the success of adults in the 21 st century.
Music education programs, such as the Harmony Project, whose mission is to
promote the healthy growth and development of children through the study, practice, and
performance of music, conduct research on the skills that children gain through active
engagement in music learning (The Harmony Project, 2015). Harmony Project’s research
examines the effect of arts education, specifically music, on communication skills,
memory, and attention levels in at-risk elementary aged students in one of the most
underserved areas of Los Angeles. While the inquiry is not yet complete, preliminary
testing suggests that students participating in music lessons are making grade appropriate
advancements in reading skills, while control groups comprised of students not enrolled
in any music classes, are showing decreases in reading skills. There is further evidence
within this study that supports the idea that music instruction may even lead to ways to
close gaps in learning between economically advantaged and disadvantaged students.
Harmony Project is part of a growing number of music learning programs that
target students who may not have access to music education or instrument instruction as
part of the curriculum at their local schools. This program and others, such as Play on
Philly in Philadelphia, PA, or Kidz Notes in Durham, NC, are all based on the idea that
high quality, rigorous instruction in music and ensemble playing can be used to create
positive change in the lives of children and youth, regardless of the circumstances of
income or socio-economic status. The basis for this idea comes from the Venezuelan
model of youth orchestras and music education, developed in the 1970s, called simply, El
Sistema (The System).
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El Sistema has made its way into the United States slowly over the past few
decades. In Venezuela, El Sistema consists of students, teachers, artists, and
administrators who are all devoted to the concept that social change can be accomplished
using classical music taught with a high level of musical artistry and rigor. Programs
inspired by this idea have emerged across the U.S. and are serving students in a variety of
performing arts areas in addition to their primary focus of music. Many of the programs
in the U.S. self-identify as El Sistema-inspired and attempt to follow the fundamental
principles that have been set up in Venezuela. Some questions about these programs
include to what extent do they need to follow those fundamentals, and how much can
they deviate from them and still identify as El Sistema? Personal experience in the field
has allowed me to observe two things: that leaders in the field of El Sistema-inspired
programs are adamant about not adhering to a strict definition of what El Sistema is,
while they acknowledge that there are certain fundamentals that must be in place for a
program to truly call itself El Sistema-inspired. The problem of this study is defining
those fundamentals and designing a program around them while still working with the
current school district’s system, and with the tools that district might already have in
place.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine one American version of an El Sistemainspired music education program and to try and discover a balance between providing a
high quality, ensemble based, intensive after school music program with the music
education structure already provided for in the district.
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The study aimed to gain greater insight into four aspects of an American El
Sistema-inspired program:
1. Infrastructure - How is YOSA MÁS organized and does it differ from other
organizations of its kind? How is it the same? If there are differences, are these based
on practices used by and begun in El Sistema?
2. Instruction and Curriculum – What is being taught to students? Is there a specific
curriculum that is being followed? What are other programs using and how can these
ideas be worked into YOSA MÁS?
3. Funding - What are the funding sources of YOSA MÁS and how are they organized?
4. Outcomes – What are the outcomes that YOSA MÁS wishes to achieve for students
and the community it serves? How are these outcomes measured? In what ways will
the results of those measurements be used?
The questions that drove this study are:
1. To what extent were the values and practices of El Sistema being used? What are
those ideals and practices and how are they identified?
2. What prevented the MLC from fully becoming an El Sistema-inspired program and
why?
3. What changes needed to be made to the MLC for it to more fully embrace the
fundamentals of El Sistema?
4. Why did the program end and what factors may have contributed to the decision to
close the program?
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Terms in the Study for Complete Clarity
For the purpose of this study the following terms are defined below:
1. Society – an ever-changing and complex network of patterns and relationships in
which all the members participate in varying degrees (Vago, 1996, p.7)
2. Social Change – …[a] large number of people [who] are engaging in group activities
and relationships that are different from those in which they or their parents engaged
in some time before (Vago, 1996. p. 7)
3. The Arts - any one of the creative disciplines, including drama/theater, visual and
performing arts, and the literary arts
4. Youth Orchestra - an orchestral ensemble made up of school age students of varied
ages, which offers additional orchestral training for youth in music, both as a training
ground for future players, and as component of community outreach (Lawson, 2003)
5. Latina/o or Hispanic - The terms "Hispanic" or "Latino" refer to persons who trace
their origin or descent to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spanish speaking Central and
South American countries, and other Spanish cultures. Origin can be considered as
the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of the person or the person's
parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their
origin as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race (U.S. Census, retrieved October 30,
2010)
Frequently used acronyms:

YOSA – Youth Orchestras of San Antonio

YOSA MÁS – Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Music After School; then Youth
Orchestras of San Antonio Music At School, after the program restructure
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
MLC – Music Learning Center

SAISD – San Antonio Independent School District

EISD – Edgewood Independent School District

GSCS – Good Samaritan Community Services

NAESIP – National Alliance of El Sistema Inspired Programs

ESUSA – El Sistema USA

ES-i – El Sistema inspired

Teaching Artist—“an artist who chooses to include artfully educating others,
beyond teaching the technique of the art form, as an active part of a career”
(Booth, 2009, p. 9)
El Sistema
The National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela was conceived as a way for young
musicians to develop the skills needed to perform in an orchestral setting (Borzacchini,
2005). In the mid-1970s Venezuela had only two major symphonies: The Venezuela
Symphony Orchestra and The Zulia Symphony Orchestra (Borzacchini, 2005).
Conservatories in Venezuela at this time did not focus on ensemble playing and students
often practiced alone. In Tricia Tunstall’s interview with Dr. José Abreu (2012), founder
of El Sistema in Venezuela, she quotes his discussion of the conditions in which music
students practiced while at conservatory:
From my very first days at the conservatory, I felt as though I had come up
against a big wall. It was completely different from the kind of musical learning I
had experienced with my piano teacher. Students at the conservatory studied and
practiced alone…it was a very hard and arid way of studying…One had to study
alone for many years…and even then, the possibility of playing in an orchestra—
it was like a myth”
(p. 57)
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A place where young musicians could train and hone their ensemble skills was needed.
This need created the path for a system of orchestras, programmed exclusively for youth
in Venezuela, to develop.
Beginnings
Dr. José Abreu began his musical career at age nine in a music school, run by
Franciscan nuns, in Barquisimeto. His piano teacher, a woman named Doralisa Jiménez
de Medina, had been a student of one of the nuns who, herself, had studied piano in Paris.
Abreu’s formative first learning experiences with Doralisa were of a kind and nurturing
educator with a flawless technique on the instrument she taught. Tunstall (2012) quotes
Abreu’s remembrances of his music lessons:
My earliest musical memories are of my piano lessons. I have a very strong
recollection of my teacher’s beautiful technique. Her scales were exceptional, and
her touch on the keys—perfect. And she had the gift of adapting her teaching to
each student. I loved Mozart particularly, so she started me on a Mozart sonata
almost as soon as I could play a scale.
(p. 53)
Doralisa’s students did not always learn in a private lesson situation. Often more
than one student was taught at the same time, each student on their own instrument using
one of Doralisa’s seven pianos. She would arrange music according to the level of each
student using larger works as source material for her arrangements (Tunstall, 2012). The
students would perform often, for many different occasions. In this way, Doralisa helped
her students overcome stage fright and learn how to work together in an ensemble. For a
young Abreu, music making was always as part of a community, and a time for joyful
expression.
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It was these early musical experiences, working in a community of musicians that
lead Abreu to seek out similar experiences when he entered the national conservatory to
study piano, organ, and composition with Vicente Emilio Sojo (Tunstall, 2012).
Concurrently, he entered the Andrés Bello Catholic University to study economics
(Tunstall, 2012). He finished his schooling at the age of 25 with degrees from the
conservatory in organ performance and composition, and a Ph.D. in petroleum economics
from the university.
During his studies at the conservatory, Abreu gathered other students and likeminded teachers together to play and learn as an ensemble. The group rehearsed wherever
they could find space, and practiced whatever music they could find from Bach, to
Handel and Corelli (Tunstall, 2012). Practicing and playing in ensembles was not
discouraged at the conservatory, but it was not encouraged either, nor was there a
tradition of students playing together. However, the music students wished to hone their
ensemble skills. While not all of the faculty at the conservatory supported their efforts,
Abreu was able to find 12 members who worked, without compensation, with the
students. Tunstall (2012) quotes Abreu as saying about this time period, “You
understand, this is the prehistory of the Sistema. A group of music students learning to
play parts of specific works, and a group of very good teachers willing to work with
them, helping them read and learn the parts” (p. 58). To expand their performance
opportunities, the group put together a weekly series of concerts developed and organized
by Abreu and other musicians in the group. This series entitled, “Festival Bach” allowed
the musicians to perform as soloists, as well as an orchestra, and, more importantly, it
showed off the talents of young Venezuelan musicians.
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Expansion
After a few years, Abreu decided to grow the group of musicians and attempt to
form a youth orchestra. The initial group of students was small, only 11 musicians turned
up to the first rehearsal, but in the subsequent days and weeks, more and more musicians
came to rehearse and learn. After one month, the group had grown to 75 players. Many of
the players came from state-run music schools, which often did not have their own
orchestras (Tunstall, 2012). These schools required several years of theoretical training
before any instrumental lessons would begin (Hollinger, 2006). As a result, the level of
musicianship among new students was often rudimentary (Hollinger, 2006). In order to
improve the musical skills of these students, Abreu and his colleagues coached and
worked with the newcomers. Using orchestra scores, Abreu taught the less-skilled players
their individual parts while they played with the entire ensemble (Tunstall, 2012).
Rehearsals were long, sometimes taking up an entire day, but in four months the
orchestra had enough repertory to schedule a public concert in Caracas. In April of 1975,
the orchestra performed works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Bach, and Vivaldi. The
performance was attended by a large and supportive audience, including several
government officials and ministers (Tunstall, 2012).
Explosive growth across Venezuela meant that funding would be needed to help
support each growing youth symphony. Abreu decided that the government should take
over responsibility for the orchestras and subsequent groups (Tunstall, 2012). The
country was experiencing economic and governmental growth due to the expansion of the
country’s oil industry (Tunstall, 2012). Abreu asked then president of Venezuela, Carlos
Andrés Pérez, for state support of the orchestra, not as an artistic program, but as one
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serving youth development. The overall youth orchestra program became housed under
the Ministry of Youth at the request of Abreu. Tunstall (2012) quotes Abreu’s thoughts as
he discussed his thinking behind his decision:
It was always clear to me. In the Ministry of Youth we were together with all the
programs that were just for children and young people, especially those dedicated
to the lower-and middle income families. It was a totally different priority for the
one you find in the world of music. But it was my priority.
(p. 69)
In 1979, the government created the “Foundation for the National Youth Symphony so
that the group and its programs could continue to survive (Rodas, 2006, p. 21). Now an
official government program, the orchestras and ensembles could enjoy funding from
both private and public sources. This, for Venezuela, was a first (Urquiola, 2005).
Today
The program now referred to as El Sistema, Abreu and his colleagues expanded
the ensemble to include greater numbers of musicians. The initial youth orchestra was
considered the core of the organization, any youth orchestras formed after in Venezuela
were based on the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra (Rodas, 2006). This youth orchestra
model eventually was duplicated in other countries around the world. In 1975, the Simón
Bolivar Conservatory was founded as a branch of the Youth Symphony and offered
certified individual instruction (Rodas, 2006). In keeping with the ideal of the orchestra
as a model for community, the Conservatory focuses not on creating solo performers, but
rather on orchestral performance. A new concert hall, the José Félix Ribas Concert Hall
at the Teresa Carreño Center, in Caracas was built as well. Shortly after, the name of the
orchestra was changed to Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana ‘Simón Bolivar’ (Simon
Bolivar Symphony of the Venezuelan Youth) (Borzacchini, 2005).
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Other institutions, such as the Instituto Universitario de Estudios Musicales or
IUDEM (the University Institute of Music Studies), were created to provide students
access to higher education in music (Rodas, 2006). Additional organizations that formed
include: the Inocente Carreño Media Center to archive and record performances and
master classes, the Metropolitan Center for the Children’s Orchestras (Montalbán Center)
to provide outreach and host large groups of children, and the Luthérie Academic Center
with the purpose to train young professionals in the maintenance and building of
instruments. All of these organizations work in concert with each other for the benefit of
students and young musicians in Venezuela.
In 1996, all of the organizations and núcleos in Venezuela became known under
the umbrella of Fundación del Estado para el Sistema Nacional de Orquestas Juveniles e
Infantiles de Venezuela (State Foundation for the National System of Youth and
Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela). The Foundation is “…devoted to educational,
occupational and the ethical rescue of children and youth, through education and
collective practice of music, dedicated to training, prevention and recovery of those most
vulnerable in the country because of socioeconomic status.” (Fundación Musical Simón
Bolívar, 2015). According to Tunstall (2012) all human resources and salaries costs are
covered by the Foundation along with some operational expenses. Each individual núcleo
is responsible for finding funding to cover all other expenses which includes instruments,
and rehearsal and performance space (Tunstall, 2012). Eventually, the expansion of El
Sistema as a model for youth orchestras moved outside the borders of Venezuela.
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El Sistema in the U.S. and Beyond
Since the inception of Sistema in Venezuela, many more programs have opened
in the U.S., Canada, Scotland, the U.K., Japan, and Australia—just to name a few. The
start of this proliferation was scattered but it can be argued that Dr. Abreu’s TED Wish
and the subsequent formation of the Sistema Fellows program were catalysts in jump
starting the movement in the United States. As interest in the program grew, and as more
fellows graduated, musicians and educators devoted to social change started programs for
youth in their cities and countries.
Dr. Abreu’s TED Wish
While there were a few programs with El Sistema qualities already in the U.S.,
such as Youth Orchestras of the Americas founded in 2001 with its mission to “act as a
catalyst for social change” through building of youth orchestras and leadership training
and partnerships, the most public start to the El Sistema movement was through the TED
Wish made by Dr. Abreu. As a part of the overall goals of the TED community, the TED
Wish is an annual award given to leaders with a vision towards social change. Each
winner receives $1,000,000 as well as support and resources in the form of the TED
community (Technology, Entertainment, and Design, n.d.). The funding provided helps
support a “project’s core infrastructure” and allows global access and collaboration
(Technology, Entertainment, and Design, n.d.). In 2009, Dr. Abreu won the TED Wish
award for his dream to bring together 50 gifted musicians, in a special training program,
who would be dedicated to bringing El Sistema to the U.S. and beyond (Technology,
Entertainment, and Design, n.d.). His wish came to completion in 2014 with the final
graduating class of the Sistema Fellows.
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
Funding provided through the TED Wish stimulated the beginning of the Sistema
Fellows program. The Wish established a cohort of 50 musicians who began the journey
and process of becoming change agents in the world of music education. The intensive
curriculum covered topics such as leadership training, some non-profit and business
strategy, as well as first-hand experience working and teaching in nucléos in Venezuela
(Marlow & Sandoval, 2014). Over the span of five years these 50 individuals took part in
a rare and limited opportunity to begin making social change a reality for young people
across the United States.
El Sistema Fellows
Once Dr. Abreu’s TED Wish had been awarded, actions were taken to bring it to
fruition. In 2009, the Sistema Fellowship program was established at the New England
Conservatory (NEC) of Music in Boston. Being housed in the conservatory allowed for
one meeting place for all fellows to work together while in the program. Mark Churchill
served as program director of the fellows program, as well as the founder of El Sistema
USA. He had been involved with music education and El Sistema for many years prior to
this appointment. Longtime friend of Dr. Abreu, Churchill co-founded the Youth
Orchestras of the Americas in 2001, with Abreu and Hilda Ochoa Brillenbourg” (El
Sistema USA, 2009). “In 2005 he [Churchill] led the signing of a ‘Friendship Agreement’
between New England Conservatory and Venezuela’s massive youth orchestral training
program, El Sistema” (El Sistema USA, 2009). Churchill now serves as Dean Emeritus of
the NEC Department of Preparatory and Continuing Education. Currently, Heath Marlow
serves as the Program Director for the Sistema Fellows. Additional staff for the present
configuration of the fellows program includes Communication and Operations Director,
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
Virginia Hecker. With the goal, “to prepare the Fellows to launch, manage, lead and
teach in El Sistema-inspired programs in the United States” (Marlow & Sandoval, 2014,
p. 9), the program was developed to create a cohort of musicians who would have the
skills and entrepreneurial spirit to go out, develop programs and “to put their learning
into practice supporting the emerging field of El Sistema-inspired initiatives” (Marlow &
Sandoval, 2014, p. 9).
The overall curriculum for the fellows program was rigorous and concluded with
a month-long residency in Venezuela where fellows observed, lived, and worked
alongside teaching artists in local nucléos. Instructors for the program included faculty
from NEC, and leaders of arts advocacy organizations such as Greg Kandel, founder of
the Management Consultants for the Arts. The curriculum consisted of six phases, broken
up by months (Marlow & Sandoval, 2014). The entire duration of the program was nine
months beginning in September. At the end of the program fellows were charged with
going out and putting what they had learned into practice for at least one year following
their graduation. The information, freely shared by the fellows, helped to disseminate the
principles of El Sistema throughout the music education landscape. Learning in the
program was accomplished through both lecture and experiential means. The curriculum
for the El Sistema Fellows can be found in the Appendices.
Sistema Fellows now number 50 and this number signals the completion of Dr.
Abreu’s TED Wish. Currently the fellows occupy a number of countries outside of the
U.S. and have started programs, as well as contributed thoughts, research, program
models, and general support to the field.
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Legacy of the Sistema Fellows
The fellows made several contributions as part of their legacy, including a
resource center to continue the work of the fellows as well as to provide resources to all
in the field of music education and arts education advocacy. As described by Eric Booth,
“the Fellows are uniquely positioned to respond and to provide for some of the major
needs and interests arising in the El Sistema-inspired field in the U.S.” (Marlow &
Sandoval, 2014, p. 20). The contributions made by each cohort of fellows began with a
nation needs assessment developed in 2012 to “provide a picture of the state of the
national field of El Sistema-inspired programs” (Marlow & Sandoval, 2014, p. 20).
Next, the fellows created and researched a strategic plan for implementing an El
Sistema-inspired program in the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood of New Orleans,
Louisiana (Marlow & Sandoval, 2014). In 2013, the fellows organized and convened a
Seminario and Symposium in the greater Boston Area which brought together local
teaching artists, students, and thought leaders. Also in 2013, the fellows put together a
document that attempted to meet one of the needs identified by the national needs
assessment. Many of the organizations desired to know best practices and ways to assess
and evaluate program outcomes. Several outcomes discussed, “musical literacy, sense of
community, and personal agency” are considered to be especially useful for the field
(Marlow & Sandoval, 2014, p. 23). The final class of 2014 spent a year in inquiry and
reflection, using observations and a collection of mission statements from programs
visited throughout the year. The outcome of this year in reflection was not to present
qualitative data, but to encourage “new perspectives and reflection” and raise new
questions about the field (Marlow & Sandoval, 2014). The Sistema Fellows during all of
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the years of the fellowship have established over 20 programs across the United States.
The fellows still meet periodically to reconnect, share current activities, and help one
another out.
History and Establishment of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio
The history of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio begins in 1949 with the San
Antonio Independent School District’s (SAISD) first program for string instruction. The
growth and success of the San Antonio Symphony, beginning with the arrival of Max
Reiter, encouraged an interest in orchestral music and string instruction (Dowdy E. B.,
1995). Reiter had taken over the San Antonio Symphony in 1939, and over time, interest
and ticket sales for the symphony had grown (Oppenheimer, 2011). According to Dowdy
(1995), prior to the start of the program no other string programs were in place in any of
the San Antonio school districts (p. 12). This created a gap in music education that was
filled by the establishment of the strings instruction program in the SAISD by G. Lewis
Doll. The availability of string classes in this district and growing interest in orchestral
music eventually led to the founding of the youth orchestras.
Growth
The growth of the SAISD string program prompted Doll to establish a district
youth ensemble, the San Antonio Youth Symphony (Youth Orchestras of San Antonio,
2016). The youth symphony was created in part to supplement the string program started
by Doll. Over time, students from other districts joined the youth orchestra. A second
ensemble, the Junior Youth Symphony, was added for younger players in the early 1960s
(Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, 2016). This expansion provided a reason to move
from a district-only group to a more inclusive city-wide organization. A grant funded by
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
the Federal Reserve Sharing Contract through the city of San Antonio in 1974 allowed
the program to become an independent organization (Youth Orchestras of San Antonio,
2008). The transition created a need for the founding of a governing board and the
necessity for funding from sources outside of the school district. The name of youth
orchestra also was changed to the Greater San Antonio Youth Symphony Orchestra or
GSAYSO.
Turmoil and Expansion
During the third season of GSAYSO, the board hired Thomas Jensen as
administrative music director and conductor. Jensen helped to expand the youth orchestra
by recruiting more students. However, reduction of his contract caused Jensen to leave
and the board hired Terence Frazor as the new music director. The turmoil, created by
Jensen’s leaving and the hiring of Frazor, led to the formulation of another youth
ensemble in 1977, the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of San Antonio (Dowdy E. B.,
1995). Mr. Jensen was hired as its music director and conductor.
Efforts to unify the two groups continually failed due to disagreements over
Jensen's role and position in the program, the governing bylaws, and the structure of the
organization. Finally, in 1979, the two groups merged (Youth Orchestras of San Antonio,
2016). The merger prompted a name change for the organization to the Youth Orchestras
of San Antonio (YOSA).
Currently, YOSA houses seven youth orchestras: a flute choir, Prelude Strings,
Capriccio Strings, Sinfonietta Strings, Concertino Strings, Symphony, and the top group,
the Philharmonic. The Philharmonic performs the same repertory as many professional
symphony orchestras, and all groups perform in concerts throughout San Antonio.
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Music Learning Center Development History
The Music Learning Center began in 1998 with a series of Saturday morning
strings classes offered in underserved areas of San Antonio (Youth Orchestras of San
Antonio, 2016). This “free Neighborhood Strings Program” provided instruments and
beginning strings instruction to interested students in a variety, but limited, number of
schools without orchestra programs throughout San Antonio (Youth Orchestras of San
Antonio, 2016). In 2002, the program consolidated locations and moved to San Antonio’s
west side to Good Samaritan Community Services (GSCS), additional students were
bused in from the Ella Austin Community Center located on San Antonio’s east side
(Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, 2016).
Good Samaritan Community Services strives to provide comprehensive
community services to more than 5,000 individuals, and 1,800 families in 14 counties in
South Texas (Good Samaritan Community Services, 2012). In San Antonio, GSCS serves
schools in the area surrounding the community center, which includes Sarah King,
Brewer, and Rodriguez Elementary, all of which are part of the San Independent School
District, and were three of the elementary schools which pulled students for the MLC.
Ninety-seven percent of the population immediately around GSCS is Latina/o, (United
States Census Bureau, n.d.). High levels of poverty create an at-risk environment for the
students in this neighborhood. The per capita income level in the area served by GSCS is
less than $22,000 annually, and 58% of families live at or below the national poverty line
(United States Census Bureau, n.d.). The overall educational level is low, consisting
primarily of those who have achieved only an eighth grade or lower level of education,
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
only 10% percent of individuals over 25 have completed high school or passed the GED
(United States Census Bureau, n.d.).
Good Samaritan Community Services felt that the inclusion of a music program
would be beneficial as part of the overall programming at GSCS. In 2008, the YOSA
board wanted to expand the reach of the Youth Orchestras to include more underserved
students in music education programming, providing the impetus to develop the Music
Learning Center from the Neighborhood String Program. In a white paper (2008) written
as part of the expansion process of YOSA, the organization believed that:
…these values [the life-changing rewards of music education] have the potential
to make a larger impact on the San Antonio community. By engaging many more
children from all parts of the city, we believe this has the ability to impact the
lives of their parents and extended relatives by bringing the community together
through a shared sense of achievement and pride in the success of their children.
(p. 2)
GSCS, in collaboration with YOSA, added the MLC to its daily curriculum of after
school programing in 2009 (Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, 2016). YOSA provided
teaching staff and leadership for beginning musicians on violin and cello. All strings
instruction was provided free of charge, and classes at GSCS took place during the school
week after regular school hours.
YOSA absorbed all the costs for the Neighborhood String Program (Youth
Orchestras of San Antonio, 2008). In order to expand, YOSA needed more funding for
personnel and instruments. A $100,000 grant from Impact San Antonio, a philanthropic
organization dedicated to improving the community in San Antonio through effective
philanthropy (Impact San Antonio, 2014), provided initial funding for the MLC (Impact
San Antonio, 2014). This grant gave YOSA enough capital to purchase instruments,
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
equipment, and to put together a dedicated teaching staff. These items plus in-kind
contributions from Good Samaritan Community Services, such as classroom and storage
space, helped with the start of the MLC. Public and private donors in San Antonio
including the Texas Women for the Arts, City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs,
and the HEB Tournament of Champions provided additional funding.
With this startup capital and a teaching staff, the MLC began at the GSCS in a set
of rooms on the center’s campus. Through personal communication with YOSA staff and
teaching artists, I learned, over time, the history of the Music Learning Center. According
to B. Cadwallader the rooms used by the MLC at Good Samaritan Community Services
served as instrument storage, rehearsal space, private lesson space, and a meeting place
where parents could pick up their children after classes (Cadwallader, B., personal
communication, November 14, 2011). Originally, students selected the MLC as a part of
the electives offered at GSCS (Cadwallader, B., personal communication, November 14,
2011). At the start classes were large but attendance quickly dwindled as the school year
moved forward. Attendance problems arose because parents would pick up their child
early or because students simply would not arrive at GSCS at all. The second year that
the MLC was in operation, students were required to be a part of the music classes
(Cadwallader, B., personal communication, November 14, 2011). While this did improve
attendance somewhat, other problems came up such as discipline issues with those
students uninterested in being in a music class.
In 2011, the MLC closed its classes in order to reassess the nature of the program.
Despite the best efforts of teachers and administrators, the program was unable to
succeed in providing consistent music instruction. Even though the MLC was included in
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
the overall curriculum of the GSCS, the program suffered due to lack of consistent
student attendance and, as a consequence, inconsistent instruction.
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Chapter 2
Method of Research
Methodology and Conceptual Framework of the Study:
Why Qualitative Research?
A flexible and adaptable method of research, that still allows for validity and
rigor, is best for inquiry that requires the researcher to work from within their study.
Qualitative research methods have the flexibility that allows for the investigation and
discovery of phenomena that may be new or in need of a fresh perspective (Stern, 1994,
p. 116). Without adaptability, new ideas, fresh questions, and emerging themes might be
missed. Ritchie, et al (2014) state:
There is no single accepted way of carrying out qualitative research…how
researchers proceed depends upon a range of factors, including their beliefs about
the nature of the social world (ontology), the nature of knowledge and how it can
be acquired (epistemology), the purpose(s) and goals of the research, the
characteristics of research participants, the audience for the research, the funders,
and the positions and environments of the researchers themselves.
(p. 2)
However, there are characteristics that can help to define qualitative inquiry and offer
some insight on the methods used to carry out this type of research. According to Ritchie,
et al (2014) these characteristics include:

Aims and objectives that are directed at providing an in-depth and interpreted
understanding of the social world of research participants by learning about the
sense they make of their social and material circumstances, their experiences,
perspectives and histories.

The use of non-standard, adaptable methods of data generation that are sensitive
to the social context of the study and can be adapted for each participant or case to
allow the exploration of emergent issues.
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
Data that are detailed, rich and complex (again, the precise depth and complexity
of data may vary between studies).

Analysis that retains complexity and nuance and respects the uniqueness of each
participant or case as well as recurrent, cross-cutting themes.

Openness to emergent categories and theories at the analysis and interpretation
stage.

Outputs that include detailed descriptions of the phenomena being researched,
grounded in the perspectives and account of participants.

A reflexive approach, where the role and perspective of the researcher in the
research process is acknowledged. For some researchers, reflexity also means
reporting their personal experiences of 'the field'.
(p. 4)
Additionally, other characteristics of qualitative research, according to Creswell (2014)
include:

Natural setting--where data are collected in the field rather than bringing
participants to a laboratory or other staged situation.

Researcher as key instrument where the researcher herself is the main collector of
data.

Multiple sources of data, such as interviews, documents, and audiovisual
information, are gathered rather than relying on a single data source.

Inductive and deductive data analysis methods.

Participants’ meanings—the research focuses on learning the meaning for the
participants rather than the meaning that the researcher brings to their work

Emergent design—the design of the research is not tightly prescribed and that
phases of the research might change or shift.

Holistic account—where the researcher attempts to create a complex picture of
the problem or issue under study.
(p. 185)
Qualitative research designs and methods are best suited for an in-depth look at
the outreach program YOSA MÁS in San Antonio, Texas. This method allows the
creation of a narrative of the events that took place before, during and, for a brief time,
after my work with the program. Additionally, this method might provide insights into
how and why the program eventually failed and was restructured. Grounding my research
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
process will be the philosophies and notions behind practitioner action research and
qualitative case study.
Case Study
For this dissertation, case study is the basic design followed to create the overall
structure of the research and the delivery method of the research findings. Case study is
the collection and presentation of rich, descriptive, and detailed information about a
particular participant or small group of participants (The Writing Studio Project, n.d.).
Often the group being researched will provide accounts of their experiences as part of the
research. These accounts can be from the whole group or from individuals within the
group. Conclusions are drawn only from that group and only in the specific context of the
group. Emphasis in case study research is placed on exploration and rich description of
the case being studied rather than finding generalizable truths. (The Writing Studio
Project, n.d.)
Case studies come in several types: illustrative, exploratory, cumulative, and
critical instance (The Writing Studio Project, n.d.). These types are dependent on the
goals and objectives of the researcher and no research project is purely one type, but pulls
from all types. Descriptions of the MLC and later of YOSA MÁS make up the bulk of
this study. Illustrative case study is the primary design method for this project. One
reason driving this choice is my desire to describe the events that lead to change at the
MLC and how these events affected the program. I feel that bringing to light the
situations and events that drove decision making will show the path of the program and
how that path lead to the eventual failure of YOSA MÁS as an El Sistema Inspired
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
program. By choosing illustrative case study as the primary design for this work, I will be
able to provide an example of the setbacks of one program.
My initial objective was simply to learn more about how the Music Learning
Center was run and operated. I wanted to learn more about the program and its
involvement with El Sistema. As I became more involved in learning about the program,
and once I became the director, I wanted to know why certain decisions were made and
how those decisions affected the way the program worked. Ultimately, my objectives for
researching the program focused on discovering how others have solved the problem of
creating an El Sistema-inspired program in the U.S. and how closely those programs
adhere to the ideals set up by leaders in the movement in comparison to the Music
Learning Center.
Role of the Researcher from Outsider to Insider back to Outsider
The role of outsider is often the traditional role of the researcher in qualitative
studies. The researcher attempts to study the situation or case without becoming a part of
it. According to Anderson, Herr, & Nihlen (2007), “Most researchers attempt to study
social reality either by decontextualizing variables or by being a fly-on-the-wall observer
of a natural setting” (p. 1). Remaining outside the setting means that all data collected is
recorded, described, and finally interpreted by the researcher. My first role in researching
the MLC was as an outsider looking into a program about which I was learning.
Over time, my role at the MLC changed, and the program transitioned to YOSA
MÁS. When I was hired as the YOSA MÁS Director in 2012, I became a full participant
in the program I had previously studied. What began as an outsider’s case study became a
project in which I was directly involved. Practitioner research occurs when data is
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
collected and analyzed by someone who is also a full participant in the case or situation
under study. While this might appear to be an ideal way to study a program in depth,
critics of this practice may claim that insider roles, such as participant observer, are
vulnerable to subjectivity and the unreliability of human nature (Merriam, 1998).
Research from Within the Study
As my involvement with the program grew, so did my understanding of what and
why certain choices were made, and I gained additional insights. The work I did was as a
single researcher working within the context of my research site. While not strictly action
research or practioner research, the case study method I used borrowed from both
traditions. The reflective process with which I examined the process I used can be
described as a type of action research. Anderson, Herr, & Nihlen (2007) explain action
research further, “It is a reflective process but is different from isolated, spontaneous
reflection in that it is deliberately and systematically undertaken and generally requires
that some form of evidence be presented to support assertions” (p. 2). Ideas about what
action research consists of are still debated. The types and forms of evidence and data are
questioned because this type of research relies heavily on experience and narrative
(Anderson, Herr, & Nihlen, 2007). However, there are several working assumptions that
can be made about action research which are generally agreed upon:





Action research differs from traditional research without necessarily being less
rigorous
Action research is political
There are many valid ways to do action research
Action research can empower and include a greater number of voices [than other
forms of research]
Action research is best done collaboratively
(Anderson, Herr, & Nihlen, 2007, p. 4)
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Furthermore, action research is research that is undertaken with an eye towards results.
Tesch (1990/2002) explains:
Action research is also oriented toward outcomes, but much less passive. While
evaluation research at best is “formative”, i.e., suggestive of ways and means that
would help to achieve the intended results of a program where they had been
found to fall short, action research is explicitly geared toward improvement of
unsatisfactory situations. Its main characteristic, however, is the involvement of
‘practitioners’ in research processes that concern their own affairs. Action
research is meant to overcome the passiveness of the research process by turning
research itself into a transformative activity.
(p. 66)
As the role of the researcher changes over time, so can the nature of the research. This
study, which began as a case study of a music learning program in San Antonio, became
an investigation of what makes a program embody the qualities of El Sistema and how
those qualities may or may not affect the practices, successes, or failures, of that program.
Several techniques have been used in order to understand my experiences in the study:



Observations
Interviews
Document based data collection
Data Collection
One of the most important differences between qualitative and quantitative
research is how the data are collected. The data collected for quantitative analysis usually
consists of answers to questionnaires, while data collected for qualitative analysis might
consist of interview transcripts, or researcher notes and observations. According to Smith
et al. (2015) qualitative and quantitative research approaches also differ in the way the
two methods analyze data collected (p. 1). Both methods collect verbal data, and while
quantitative research requires that all information collected is "transformed into numbers"
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
for analysis, qualitative analysis is more concerned with understanding what that verbal
data means rather than "finding the numerical properties of it" (Smith, et al., 2015, p. 1).
Observations
Observations add to the validity of the interviews and text-based research. My
firsthand experiences, combined with my observations at the beginning of my research
with YOSA and the MLC, allowed me to understand what occurred over time.
Interviews and Questionnaires
I utilized interviews throughout the course of this study. The interviews were
open-ended in order to allow themes to emerge throughout the investigation. Open-ended
interviews consist of loosely structured and flexibly worded questions (Merriam, 1998).
Using an interview format of this type allows the researcher to be more responsive to
those interviewed or observed. Questionnaires were developed in order to get feedback
from students participating in YOSA MÁS. The questionnaire was used both to gather
information for this study, as well as a request from YOSA to gather quotes and
information from students about their thoughts as music students. YOSA used the quotes
and other information as part of their newsletter sent to stakeholders and donors to YOSA
and in specific YOSA MÁS as part of their annual funding drive. Sample questions for
the interviews and questionnaires are:

For student questionnaires:



What do you like about music?
Do you think you will learn to play your instruments well?
What three things can your music teacher to help you learn music?
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016

For interviews with leaders in the field of El Sistema in the United States:



Arts/music as a vehicle for social change how Sistema do we need to be?
 Were there differences in the ideals of how you wanted to start your program
to what the program is now?
 What changed and why?
Flexibility of programs to meet needs of students, teachers, funders, and everyone
 Going forward as a leader what direction(s) do you think Sistema or your
program needs to take in order to continue to success?
 How should/will programs develop?
 Program failure to thrive?
Programs change, what moves, what stays the same?
These formats allowed me greater freedom to discover emergent themes and topics that
may be of importance to all those involved in YOSA MÁS.
Document-based data collection
Documents can provide information about the history and progress of an
organization. Publically available records will provide a part of the data collected this
case study. Documents used comprise official memos, minutes from board or other
meetings, records, and other documents (Creswell, 1998). Some of the materials gathered
and analyzed for this study are included in the appendices of this document.
Validity and Reliability
Validity and reliability in qualitative research is achieved through the process that
occurs both during and after the study is completed to determine and maintain the
standards of quality in the collection of data and how that data is analyzed (Creswell,
1998). In 2014 Creswell expands his ideas behind validity in qualitative research to
include, “Validity does not carry the same connotations in qualitative research as it does
in quantitative research; nor is it a companion of reliability (examining stability) or
generalizability (the external validity of applying results to new settings, people, or
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
samples” (p. 200). In order to achieve validity in qualitative research, the researcher must
use a set of procedures to check for accuracy of the findings (Creswell J. W., 2014, p.
200).
In order to determine the reliability and validity of my study, I employed the
methods outlined by Merriam in Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in
Education (1998) and enhanced by Creswell (2014) in his discussion of validity
strategies:









Triangulation
Peer examination/member checks
Collaborative modes of research
Rich thick description to convey the findings
Bias clarification, and self-reflection to create an open and honest
narrative that resonates with the reader
Presentation of discrepant or negative information that runs counter to
themes
Prolonged time in the field
Peer debriefing to enhance the accuracy of the account; and
An external auditor to review the entire project
(p. 201)
Triangulation is the use of many data sources to increase the validity of the data
collected. Through interviews, observations, and the collection of document data, I was
automatically involved in triangulation throughout my study. Peer examination and
member checks are the use of others’ expertise to confirm the findings and analysis of the
collected information1. Over the course of my study, I utilized the experience and
knowledge of my peers and mentors in order to determine the validity and reliability of
the study. Finally, by using collaborative modes of research, I involved those being
1
Aubrey Marker, Teaching Artist with YOSA MÁS is included in peer triangulation.
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researched (the teachers, students, parents, and administrators) in determining the
accuracy of my findings.
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Chapter 3
Theories of Social Change in Arts and Education
Literature Review
Programs like YOSA MÁS, which are inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, are
built on the idea that social change can be realized through intensive ensemble work,
engaged participation from the earliest stages of learning, group learning, peer teaching,
and a commitment to keeping the joy and fun of music making ever-present (El Sistema
USA, 2009). The following literature review will discuss how arts can be utilized to
enable social change.
Social Change
Because of the enormity of the subject of social change, even when pared to a
discussion of social change in the arts, this study employs a brief and general definition
for the sake of simplicity, and to keep the scope from expanding beyond the thesis. Social
change is a constantly occurring process, which leads to difficulty in describing it. How
social change is defined depends upon the group who defines it. For this study, I use the
definition provided by sociologist Steven Vago (1996) as, “…large numbers of people
[who] are engaging in group activities and relationships that are different from those in
which they or their parents engaged in some time before” (p. 7). In Vago’s (1996)
description of social change he includes several factors as part of what defines this type
of change. These factors include:


Identity of the social phenomenon which is transforming
Level of the social system where the change takes place
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


Duration of or how long change continues after it has been accepted by the group
in which it is introduced
Magnitude of the change, whether incremental, comprehensive, and/or
revolutionary
Rate of transformation: if it is fast or slow, continuous or spasmodic, orderly or
erratic
While each of these factors is arbitrarily chosen, meaning that different associations can
be assigned by different people, attaching specific ideas to each allows for the creation of
a departure point from which theories and notions can be formed about social change.
Social change in the arts is directed towards specific actions that are seen to
improve the conditions in which any group of people might be living (Americans for the
Arts, 2015). According to the Americans for the Arts website (2015) social change is,
“both the process and effect of efforts to positively alter societal conditions”. Outcomes
for this type of social change include: healing, greater awareness, changes in attitude,
increased civic participation, movement building, and policy change (Americans for the
Arts, 2015). These outcomes are echoed in many organizations’ status reports, especially
those who work with youth and arts. For example, Austin Soundwaves, an El Sistemainspired program in Austin, Texas, emphasizes the change in attitude of students towards
school as one of the positive influences it has on students attending Soundwaves music
classes. The organization points to an 8.8% increase in student school enjoyment in
academic year 2011-2012 as one indicator that change is taking place (The Hispanic
Alliance, n.d.). This one specific outcome is the result of actions taking place to enact
social change through music education.
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Arts Influence in Society
The Ancient Greeks believed that the arts (drama, poetry, and dance combined
with music) affected the ethos or the ethical character of each individual (Burkholder,
Grout, & Palisca, 2014). If the arts can affect how individuals behave, then the arts can
affect the way that society behaves and thus how it should be governed. What society
perceives through the arts can be helpful or harmful depending on the experience. Greek
philosopher Plato felt that the government should be discerning about what it allowed its
citizens to see and hear due to the possible deleterious effects art could have on the
human mind (Beardsley, 1966, p. 49). He felt that the wrong type of art could inspire
laziness or violent behavior. Burkholder et. al. (2010) state, “In both his Republic and
Laws, Plato asserted that musical conventions must not be changed, since lawlessness in
art and education led to license in manners and anarchy in society” (p. 15). Because
society can be adversely affected by the art it encounters, Plato discouraged government
officials to allow citizens to view works that might promote harmful behavior.
Aristotle had a different idea about how the arts affect the human soul. He stated
that while the arts do arouse passions in the mind, this arousal has a cathartic affect and
allows the citizen to have peace from the restless emotions that might otherwise cause
them disharmony. Beardsley in his discussion of Aristotle (1966) states:
...if we look only at the immediate frenzy, the audience’s terror and weeping, it
may seem that way, but if we look at the later and deeper psychological effects of
going through the experience, the playgoer is like the religious enthusiast who
feels cleansed and lightened and brightened by his emotional release. The playgoing citizen, in the long run, is probably the calmest and the wisest, for he gets
rid from time to time of those festering emotional irritations that poison the
temperament and the mind.
(p. 67)
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Both philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, shared the idea that the arts could affect the
individual and influence society.
Maxine Greene emphasized the importance of using the arts as a way for young
people to become more self-reflective. Engaging in a self-reflective practice allows
individuals to become more attuned to what is going on around them, and how their
wider environment affects their everyday lives. Greene (1978) begins with a discussion
of "wide-awakeness" through two philosophers: Kierkegaard and Thoreau (p. 161). Both
men discussed apathy, or "civilizational malaise" which is indicative of people who are
living with an aim towards material accumulation rather than working towards satisfying
"the human spirit." Kierkegaard spoke of making people aware of what it means to exist
in a "lived reality" to have an understanding of their "dreadful freedom." Thoreau wrote
with the intension of moving "others to elevate their lives by 'conscious endeavor', to
arouse others to discover--each in his or her own terms--what it would mean to 'live
deliberately'" (p. 162).
In addition to an awareness of what is going on outside the self, a practice of selfreflection is needed for complete “wide-awakeness”. A study of the arts can help to
create a self-reflective practice by providing a way for students to explore their
understanding of differing works and by learning how to explain their viewpoints and
understanding. According to Greene (1978):
…involvement with the arts and humanities has the potential for provoking
precisely this sort of reflectiveness we need to devise ways of integrating them
into what we teach at all levels of the educational enterprise; we need to do so
consciously, with a clear perception of what it means to enable people to pay,
from their own distinctive vantage points, 'full attention to life'"
(p. 163)
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To be wide-awake is to be completely aware of, and interested in, what is going
on around you; to ask questions and to seek out answers instead of accepting what is
given or "living a mechanical life" of routine and habits (Greene, 1978). Greene (1978)
further explains the idea of being "wide-awake"—as the concept of, “attentiveness, this
interest in things, is the direct opposite of the attitude of bland conventionality and
indifference so characteristic of our time" (p. 42). Greene (1978) goes on to discuss how
being fully aware and "awake" allows for a more moral life. Because being "wide-awake"
creates greater awareness in the individual, that person is now aware of inconsistencies
and injustices around them. They might then desire to act on those injustices, to either
rectify, or to bring awareness of injustice, to greater numbers of people. She states that
the reverse is apathy. Greene (1978) explains:
The opposite of morality, it has often been said, is indifference--a lack of care, an
absence of concern. Lacking wide-awakeness, I want to argue, individuals are
likely to drift, to act on impulses of expediency. They are unlikely to identify
situations as moral ones or to set themselves to assessing their demands"
(p. 43)
While everyday life becomes more disjointed for the average person, and feelings
of not being in control expand, Greene (1978) explains that, art and the work of artists
becomes more important as a way to help people awaken to a "critical awareness, to a
sense of moral agency, and to a conscious engagement with the world" (p.162). To be
"wide-awake" for Greene, is to be concretely aware of one's situational surroundings and
how that reality of situation is acted upon by external forces. In order to be "wideawake," individuals must be interested and attentive to their reality, rather than passively
living in it.
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Social Change and Educators
While this study focuses on arts, specifically music, as a means to enact social
change in the lives of at-risk students, a brief discussion on the role of educators who
work with these students is needed to add depth to the conversation. Working with young
people to enable them to access to the self-reflective “wide-awakeness” of Green, the
catharsis of Aristotle, and the strength of character that Plato describes, means that the
educators and teaching artists guiding them must also have a sense of being “wideawake”. Greene (1978) writes:
I am convinced that, if teachers today are to initiate young people into an ethical
existence, they themselves must attend more fully than they normally have to
their own lives and its requirements; they have to break with the mechanical life,
to overcome their own submergence in the habitual, even in what they conceive to
be virtuous, and ask the 'why' with which learning and moral reasoning begin"
(p. 46)
Teachers should have an understanding of why and where they find their own sense of
being “wide awake” and engaged with their students and their community. bell hooks
discusses emancipatory educational practices in her work, Teaching to Transgress, she
uses “engaged” pedagogical practices as additional means for educators to create the
space needed for students to become more fully aware. She cautions that educators must
also be working towards their own self-awareness and well-being in order to be
successful with students in this type of educational practice. hooks (1994) writes:
Progressive, holistic education, "engaged pedagogy" is more demanding than
conventional critical or feminist pedagogy. For, unlike these two teaching
practices, it emphasizes well-being. That means that teachers must be actively
committed to a process of self-actualization that promotes their own well-being if
they are to teach in a manner that empowers students.
(p. 15)
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In addition, teachers should be critical thinkers, and able to understand their
multiple roles within the community as individuals and teachers. According to Green
(1978) educators should know how they are seen and viewed, not only by their students,
but also by the community in which they reside. For Greene being a teacher means
standing as an example of what it is to be “wide-awake” and aware. For her an education
that includes moral behavior is one that helps individuals achieve greater understanding
of the world in which they live. "Moral education, it would seem, must be as specifically
concerned with self-identification in a community as it is with the judgements persons are
equipped to make at different ages" (Greene, 1978, p. 47).
Concepts of how educators should conduct themselves outside of, and inside of,
the classroom are also seen in the ideals held for Teaching Artists in American El
Sistema-inspired programs. Mark Churchill and Eric Booth (2009) outline their Citizen
Artist Teacher Scholar model for educators to follow in order to be effective in El
Sistema-inspired programs. Referred to simply as, CATS, the paradigm asks teachers to,
“model a whole, positive, well-balanced example for young people to emulate as they
develop”. Both the influence of hooks and Greene can be understood as teachers are
made aware that their example should be one that young people can follow as they learn
how to be adults. To be able to think critically and to understand the role they serve in
their community allows teachers to handle the various responsibilities given to them in
the service of their work as educators.
Arts Organizations and Arts Education in Texas Public Schools
Organizations have harnessed the power of the arts to provide avenues for at-risk
youth to develop the skills needed for success in life. For many organizations who work
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with at-risk youth, the arts are considered an excellent vehicle for social change. Working
in the arts can provide templates and models for living and thriving in the world, and
potentially can provide a place to practice the skills needed for adulthood. For example,
the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles states that an orchestra can serve as the “true model
of a collaborative, compassionate society” (What is YOLA? Retrieved January 3, 2011
from http://www.laphil.com/yola/yola-faq-new.cfm). The visual and media arts
organization, Say Sí, in San Antonio, Texas states in their Core Values that they will,
“develop each individual student artist by enhancing their social, academic, cognitive and
vocational competencies; improving their self-esteem and self-identity; and enhancing
their character so that they will possess all the tools and motivation necessary to become
productive, thoughtful citizens of our community” (Say Sí, 2015). The National
Association for Music Education (n.d.) recognizes the importance of arts, and music in
particular, in society in this statement:
Perhaps the basic reason every child must have an education in music is that
music is a part of the fabric of our society. The intrinsic value of music for each
individual is widely recognized in the many cultures that make up American
life—indeed, every human culture uses music to carry forward its ideas and
ideals.
(The Benefits of the Study of Music, p. 2)
At-risk students gain multiple benefits from working in arts-based programs, whether as
part of the overall school day or as part of out-of-school time programing. According to
Catterall et al (2012):
Socially and economically disadvantaged children and teenagers who have high
levels of arts engagement or arts learning show more positive outcomes in a
variety of areas than their low-arts-engaged peers. In middle school, high school,
and beyond, they tend to do better on a host of academic and civic behavioral
measures than do at-risk youth who lack deep arts backgrounds. To varying
degrees, those outcomes extend to school grades, test scores, honors society
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membership, high school graduation, college enrollment and achievement,
volunteering, and engagement in school or local politics.
(p. 24)
Other outcomes for students engaged in arts programs include increased drive to learn
and better testing scores. For example at Play on Philly, an El Sistema-inspired program
in Philadelphia, PA, a 2012-2013 outcomes study revealed that their young musicians
scored an average of ten points higher on standardized testing, and had 30% fewer
absences than a control group of non-participating students (Play on Philly, n.d.). Austin
Soundwaves showed that their student musicians had an 18.5% increase in their
motivation to achieve, learn, and create (The Hispanic Alliance, n.d.).
For social change through the arts to occur, arts-based programs and education
must be available and accessible. A-risk youth may not have access to places where they
can gain the benefits of working in the arts. Using arts in day-to-day learning is one way
to increase access. In Texas all public school districts that provide Kindergarten through
grade 12 education must offer arts enrichment as part of the curriculum (Texas Education
Agency, 2016). Furthermore, all high school students are obligated to have arts
instruction as part of the requirements for high school graduation (Texas Education
Agency, 2016). Before entering high school, all fine arts (music, theater, dance, and
visual arts) classes offered at the elementary and middle school levels must adhere to the
Texas Essential Skills and Knowledge guidelines adopted in April 2013 for
implementation in 2014 (Texas Education Agency, 2015, p. 1). According to the Texas
Music Educator’s website, “Teachers of grades K–12 in Texas public schools are
required by law to provide instruction that covers 100% of the Texas Essential
Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) applicable to each grade/level” (Texas Music Educator's
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
Association , n.d.). Even before children reach grade school age, measures are being
taken in San Antonio to increase the amount of arts use in pre-kindergarten classes. The
Arts Fund, an organization dedicated to supporting “arts in education by bringing
innovative and inspiring arts programs to classrooms that help teachers to bridge
achievement gaps in learning and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics,
or STEM” (The Arts Fund, n.d.) in partnership with Wolf Trap, an organization whose
mission is to “to present and create excellent and innovative performing arts programs for
the enrichment, education, and enjoyment of diverse audiences and participants” (Wolf
Trap Foundation , n.d.), are working to provide additional tools for teachers to use when
teaching very young children. Residencies have been established for area teaching artists
to build arts integrated curriculum in collaboration with pre-k educators. With a broad
spectrum of arts organizations and in-school arts learning, more students will have a
chance to receive the benefits that can occur through studies in the arts.
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
Chapter 4
The Music Learning Center Becomes YOSA MÁS
Concerns About the Music Learning Center
How “Sistema” Do We Need to Be?
Looking into the world of El Sistema in the United States pulls up a multitiude of
ideas about how programs should be run. Program leaders attempt to stay as close as
possible to what was created in Venezuela. However, there are differences that require
programs in the U.S. to evaluate how much they adhere to the guidelines and models set
up by Venezuelan programs. One main question in creating a Sistema model in the U.S.
is: how “Sistema” should we be, or do we need to be? What can U.S. programs take from
Sistema in Venezuela and use, and what needs to be adjusted?
Jonathan Govias (2011) suggests that an El Sistema inspired program possess five
philosophical and foundational principles that are also present in the programs in
Venezuela. According to Govias these principles exist as the main difference between
general music programs and programs that identify as El Sistema inspired. The principles
are:
1. Social Change: The primary objective is social transformation through the pursuit
of musical excellence. One happens through the other, and neither is prioritized at
the expense of the other.
2. Ensembles: the focus of el Sistema is the orchestra or choral experience
3. Frequency: el Sistema ensembles meet multiple times every week over extended
periods.
4. Accessibility: el Sistema programs are free, and are not selective in admission
5. Connectivity: Every núcleo is linked at the urban, regional and national levels,
forming a cohesive network of services and opportunities for students across the
county.
(Govias, 2011, p. 1)
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
Mark Churchill and Eric Booth (2009) provided a detailed set of Guiding Principles
behind the El Sistema movement which are listed on the website El Sistema USA (El
Sistema USA). These principles were developed so that programs in planning stages
would have an understanding of the philosophy behind what had been done in Venezuela.
They were written to inspire and provide focus for programs in planning, but not
necessarily to be followed literally. These Guiding Principles (2009) are:
1. Mission of Social Change. The motto “luchar y tocar,” translated to play and to
strive, demonstrates our commitment to using music and ensembles to help young
people understand their role as an asset to their community.
2. Access and Excellence. Our program seeks to serve all young people, starting at
young ages, and help them pursue excellence!
3. The Nucléo Environment. A safe, nurturing place where learning occurs with
joy, in an environment of friendship and respect.
4. Intensity. The program is marked by frequent meetings, ideally daily, for many
hours, that are full of fast paced and rigorous instruction and learning. Also,
performances occur with high frequency.
5. The Use of Ensemble. Students are engaged in large and small ensembles to help
convey the idea of working together and accomplishing great outcomes through
cooperation. Instruction is centered on the idea of ensemble musicianship as well.
6. The CATS Teacher Model: Citizen / Artist / Teacher / Scholar. The teaching
artists engaged with El Sistema programs are expected to model a whole, positive,
well-balanced example for young people to emulate as they develop.
7. The Multi-Year Continuum. El Sistema programs are designed to engage
students, starting during their childhood and extending to adulthood, and maintain
relevance and a high standard for excellence and achievement at each stage.
8. Parent and Community Inclusion. Nucléos work to foster relationships with
parents and communities, often inviting both into the program in order to enhance
the experience for young people.
9. Connections and Network. The El Sistema program is a set of interconnected
Nucléos that join together with one another regularly to provide enriching
experiences, as well as joining with local leaders to provide opportunity to
students and support to the program.
10. Ambition and Achievement. As an agent of beauty and happiness, the musical
experiences afforded by El Sistema instruction become the basis for repeated
efforts on the part of the young people, and consistently increasing selfexpectation from them.
(El Sistema USA)
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The Guiding Principles are based on a set of Core Values (2009):
•
•
•
•
•
Every human being has the right to a life of dignity and contribution, filled with
beauty.
Every child can learn to experience and express music and art deeply, can receive
its many benefits, and can make different critical life choices as a result of this
learning.
Overcoming poverty and adversity is best done by strengthening the spirit,
creating, as Dr. Abreu puts it, “an affluence of the spirit,” and investing that
affluence as a valued asset in a community endeavor to create excellence and
beauty in music.
Effective education is based on love, approval, joy, and consistently successful
experiences within a high-functioning, aspiring, nurturing community. Every
child has limitless possibilities and the ability to strive for excellence. “Trust the
young,” informs every aspect of the work.
Learning organizations never arrive but are always becoming—striving to
include: more students, deeper impact, greater musical excellence, better teaching,
improved tools, more joy. Thus, flexibility, experimentation, risk- taking, and
collegial exchange are inherent aspects of every program.
(El Sistema USA)
These Guiding Principles and Core Values all come together in an effort to describe the
model nucléo. They set a stage for the ideal place for all students to learn music.
Ability to Exhibit the Ideals of El Sistema
When I began this study, I was an outsider looking in at a program inspired by a
philosophy with which I had a great amount of interest. But in the beginning of my study
I had concerns. Getting in contact with the Music Learning Center or Youth Orchestras of
San Antonio was exceedingly difficult. Despite my emails and other attempts to contact
someone in YOSA, I was unable to schedule meetings or times to visit the program. Not
only did this set back my research schedule, it negatively affected my view of the Music
Learning Center and of YOSA overall. Over time I learned more of the reasons for this
behavior and why I had difficulties with leadership at both the MLC and YOSA.
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
While there was much that worked well about the MLC, issues such as a lack of
dedicated leadership, attendance, and the ability to work with students consistently did
not allow the program to fully realize the ideals behind El Sistema. Chief among those
ideals are rigorous music education with adherence to a high artistic standard of musical
ensemble playing, time spent playing in an ensemble and learning from each other, an
emphasis on student performances, peer mentorship, and a connection to the greater
world of music and El Sistema (Govias, 2011). While the Sistema community fully
understands and acknowledges that each program must find ways to work within the
circumstances of their individual context, the adherence to these general qualities is
considered by most to be of great importance and part of what allows individual
programs to identify as an El Sistema-inspired program. The MLC, while providing much
that was good for the students of GSCS, failed to create a cohesive community of student
musicians who were connected to the greater world and who had achieved a high level –
even as beginning instrumentalists – of musical artistry.
Leadership
In 2008, YOSA hired Maggie Raveneau as director for the pilot year of the MLC.
Maggie had been teaching choir at Harlandale High School for several years after
graduating with a performance degree in cello from Baylor University in 2006. Under
Maggie’s direction the MLC grew to 122 students. For personal reasons, Maggie shifted
her position with the MLC to part-time. In her last year she served as a teaching artist
with the last class of students at GSCS.
Troy Peters, Music Director for YOSA, hired in 2009, and YOSA Operations
Director Ben Cadwallader, worked with Maggie to help her lead the MLC. However,
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
their duties with the many other programs of YOSA, rehearsing ensembles, setting up
auditions, and the day-to-day running of the organization along with the heavy time
commitment needed to run the MLC, did not allow them to engage fully with students,
the teachers, or to help Maggie as she struggled with attendance and other issues at
GSCS. The lack of strong leadership and direction at the MLC meant that it was required
to adhere to changes at the behest of the YOSA board and others not directly involved
with teaching or the day-to-day activities of the program.
Direction
Discipline and attendance problems did not allow for a consistent implementation
of curriculum or growth of an ensemble. YOSA tried several ideas to resolve the
problems they encountered. Students in the first year of the MLC were allowed to select
string classes as part of the extracurricular portion of the after-school activities offered by
the GSCS. This allowed students to choose whether or not they wished to participate.
Attendance became a problem in that first year as their parents pulled out students early
or they missed class because they were not at the GSCS that day.
During the second year, all students at the GSCS were required to take strings
instruction as part of their after-school programming. This led to discipline and class
management problems as teachers tried to work with unhappy students. The third year of
the MLC only younger students were required to participate in strings instruction. This
allowed those students uninterested in strings to pursue other classes or activities.
Discipline problems did not diminish completely, but classroom management slowly got
better.
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
When Maggie stepped down as the director for the MLC, YOSA began to look
for a replacement to lead the program. Troy approached two Sistema Fellows, Liz
Schurgin and Avi Mehta, but neither of them wanted to leave their programs in Fort
Worth and Boston for San Antonio. YOSA decided to shut down the MLC during the
search and transition to new leadership. A name change occurred at this time too, from
the Music Learning Center to Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Music After School, or
YOSA MÁS. The year prior to the shut down in 2012, I had returned to San Antonio in
order to begin my research. I learned about the search for a new director from Avi while
working as a teaching artist with Austin Soundwaves. Avi was at Soundwaves to visit the
program and meet the students of the Austin program. Avi mentioned that he had spoken
with Troy about the director position which prompted me to investigate and eventually
send my credentials to YOSA and apply as the new director.
Transition to YOSA MÁS
Going Dark
In fall 2012 the Music Learning Center shut down all classes and programming at
Good Samaritan Community Services. During that time, I worked as the new director of
the of the program, now renamed YOSA MÁS, to rebuild and move the program to a new
location at the Edgewood Academy in the Edgewood Independent School District. There
was concern that the remaining students who had an interest in continuing strings
instruction might become discouraged and no longer want to be in music. To help those
students, a short spring semester of YOSA MÁS was run at the GSCS. Recruiting was
restricted to schools within walking distance of the community center and students who
had previously been a part of the MLC. This restriction was put in place because of the
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
limited ability of YOSA MÁS to transport students to the center. All schools needed to be
within walking distance of GSCS. These schools included: Sarah King Elementary,
Brewer Elementary, and Rodriguez Elementary, all part of the San Antonio Independent
School District. Other students, not from those schools but interested in the program,
were pulled in directly from the after-school programming at GSCS.
The students recruited into YOSA MÁS for its last semester at GSCS ranged in
age and grade level from first through sixth. Some students had previously been in the
MLC while others were new to string playing. The last semester at GSCS did not include
a rigorous curriculum because the remaining time at the center was limited. Instead the
semester focused on getting students familiar with string ensemble playing and healthy
positions on the instruments. By the end of the semester nearly all of the students could
read at a basic level in the clef for their instrument and could play well as an ensemble.
Two teaching artists, Maggie Raveneau and Alexis von Biedenfeld, were hired to work
with me for this final semester. A third teaching artist, Aubrey Marker, was brought in
near the end of the semester to fill in for the loss of Maggie Raveneau, who had decided
to pursue other job opportunities. Both Maggie and Alexis had been teachers at the MLC,
and both were familiar with all of the returning students. Aubrey a cellist, had experience
working with at-risk and special needs children. None of these teaching artists continued
teaching with me after YOSA MÁS moved to the Edgewood Academy. At the end of the
spring semester, Maggie took a position in nearby Boerne, Texas as orchestra director for
Boerne Independent School District, and Alexis began teaching strings in Kerrville,
Texas. Aubrey moved with her husband, a bassoonist with the San Francisco Ballet, to
San Francisco, California.
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
As the director for YOSA MÁS I gained insights that I had not previously
understood. The transition from outsider to insider of this study was complete the
moment that I finished the interim semester at GSCS. By this time, I had learned a great
deal about YOSA, the way the office worked, and about the difficulties that YOSA was
having keeping this Sistema program alive and viable. The lack of full-time dedicated
leadership, problems with student attendance, and no real coherent curriculum all led to a
foundering program. That the MLC was housed at the GSCS meant that real growth for
the program could not occur. There was not enough space for classroom teaching or
instrument storage. Transportation limitations meant that student recruitment was
restricted to the areas which the GSCS serves thus reducing the number students that
could be served by the program. The beginning of the reevaluation of YOSA MÁS and a
meaningful change to the way the program operated began with an assessment of the
ideals of El Sistema and how to fit a program in San Antonio to those ideals.
Planning for the Pilot Year of YOSA MÁS
The first step that I took to re-envision YOSA MÁS within the fundamentals of El
Sistema, was to picture what I thought an El Sistema program looked like. To help with
this I used my previous research into programs and my own imagination of what a
program could look like. My musings created an ideal setting of several student
orchestras that acted as both music learning center and a place where students could
practice the skill sets they would need as adults. These skills included those discussed
earlier as 21st Century Skills—working together as a group, empathy towards others, and
decision-making skills.
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
The fall of 2012 allowed me to plan for the final semester of the MLC, and to
begin preparations for the fall of 2013 when YOSA MÁS would restart. I met weekly
with Troy Peters during that fall to discuss what I had been planning and to ask questions.
While the meetings took place with regularity at the beginning of the semester, they soon
dropped off and stopped once the spring semester had begun. The brief mentorship with
Troy was mainly focused on visioning, while the nuts and bolts of how the program
would be run was left to me to figure out on my own. I consulted with Sistema Fellows,
Katie Wyatt and Stanford Thompson to gain insights into how their programs were run
on a day-to-day basis.
To begin, I started with decisions about what the day should look like in YOSA
MÁS. As the program was to be an after school program we needed to fit a snack
somewhere into the timeframe. As part of the in-kind agreement with Edgewood, the
Academy provided a daily snack for all YOSA MÁS students. Students would eat
together in the Academy’s cafeteria. The cafeteria was also the place where students
would assemble after being dropped off by their respective busses. Problems arose when
busses were late for a variety of reasons from bus drivers forgetting to pick up YOSA
MÁS students to traffic issues on bus routes to the Academy. Unfortunately, no working
(Dowdy E. B., 1995) solutions could be found within the year that YOSA MÁS existed at
the Academy. Discussions with parents resulted in some students being dropped off by
their parents, but due to transportation difficulties for many YOSA MÁS families, parent
drop off was not a viable solution.
Initially, I decided that the time with students would be divided into three parts:
the first part was comprised of sectionals where students would practice their instruments
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
in a homogeneous setting—all violins together, cellos together and so on; then the
students would have a snack period; finally, the day would conclude with ensemble—all
instruments together in one group. The sequence of the day changed to allow students to
have snack as they arrived for classes at the Academy, but the basic idea of the daily
schedule would stay the same, sectionals followed by ensemble practice. This was the
start to aligning YOSA MÁS with the Guiding Principles of El Sistema outlined by
Churchill and Booth.
Creating Alignment
Changing locations allowed YOSA MÁS to have a fresh start and to come into
closer alignment with the Guiding Principles of El Sistema. The move to Edgewood
Independent School District meant that the program could move in to the Edgewood
Performing Arts Academy. Edgewood I.S.D. contains ten elementary schools, three
middle schools, and two high schools, not including the Academy. The Academy was a
good home for YOSA MÁS because it allowed the program to have a central location
within the district. In addition, the Academy had spaces large enough for rehearsing large
ensemble groups as well as a performing arts hall, and a smaller recital hall.
Edgewood Independent School District was founded in 1900 and at that time was
known as District 41. District 41 was created from the eastern edge of District 15, which
had been divided because it had grown too large (Edgewood Independent School District,
2010). As the city expanded and enveloped Edgewood ISD, a part of the southern
boundary splintered off in 1922 and Edgewood lost a good portion of the land and its
assets to South San District (Edgewood Independent School District, 2010). This meant
that Edgewood had now lost a great deal of the tax benefit it received from those assets.
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Although poorer, more families continued to move into the area requiring the district to
provide more schools and classroom space. In 1996, Edgewood closed the Edgewood
High School and moved all students to either John F. Kennedy or Memorial High School
(Allen, 2011). The Edgewood High School was then renovated and in 1999 the
Edgewood Academy of Communications and Fine Arts opened (Vara-Orta, 2014). The
Academy works with high school students interested in pursuing further instruction in a
variety of disciplines including theater, music, visual arts, and dance. Students are pulled
from one of two high schools in the district, Kennedy or Memorial High School. Students
attend the Academy for half of the school day, either in the morning or the afternoon,
while the rest of their day is spent in their respective schools.
The move allowed YOSA MÁS to contact a wider pool of students. This
widening of the student pool allowed for greater access—one of the principles of El
Sistema. The district would also allow any San Antonio Independent School District
students who might be interested, and who had been in the program prior to the move, to
attend the program.
Frequency, another fundamental principle of El Sistema, decreased from what it
had been at GSCS. The school district determined that students would be allowed to
participate in the program three days out of the week, Tuesday, Wednesday, and
Thursday. The reasons for this, according to Dr. Emma Dromgoole, Fine Arts
Coordinator for EISD, was that attendance rates on Mondays and Fridays were not
consistent due to a variety of reasons from family trips out of town to Friday night
football games. Dr. Dromgoole assured me that using the middle of the week days would
be a better option because of these reasons. The schedule that YOSA MÁS and EISD
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
settled on was Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to remain with students until the bus
picked them up. Parents would be responsible for picking up their child at the end of
program each day. In addition, Edgewood would provide bussing for students if they
were to attend or perform in a concert outside of the Academy. Edgewood Academy also
provided storage space for the instruments used by YOSA MÁS students. I wrote a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify the agreement between Edgewood
ISD and YOSA. The MOU served to provide in writing the agreement of in-kind
contributions of Edgewood and what YOSA would provide for students. Both YOSA and
Edgewood signed the MOU.
While it is not one of the Guiding Principles, the use of teaching artists as
educators in El Sistema inspired programs has become a standard practice. A teaching
artist, as defined by Eric Booth (2009), is “an artist who chooses to include artfully
educating others, beyond teaching the technique of the art form, as an active part of a
career” (p. 3). For YOSA MÁS, I attempted to find area musicians who might be
interested in working with the program for the three days out of the week. One problem
that I faced while in this process was timing. YOSA MÁS occurs during the prime
private teaching hours for many professional musicians and music studios. Because I was
not able to provide an hourly rate that was competitive for many private teachers, I had
little luck finding someone willing to teach at YOSA MÁS. The rates that I was able to
offer were hourly and contract; a teaching artist would make $25 per hour, and a lead
teaching artist would make $40 per hour. I wanted to hire two teaching Artists and one
lead teaching artist. The lead teaching artist would teach two classes—beginning violin
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and would lead the ensemble. The other two teaching artists would teach beginning violin
and cello classes as well as assist with the ensemble at the end of each day.
To find teaching artists who might be interested and available to teach I looked to
newly graduated students and to students in the University of Texas at San Antonio
String Project. A teaching lab, String Project is specifically for music education majors.
The Project provides a graduated and monitored teaching experience for students who
desire to teach in the public school system. According to the University of Texas website,
String Project started at the University of Texas at Austin in 1948 as a way to fill out the
ranks of string teachers in the United States after World War II, the concept has spread
throughout Texas and the United States (University of Texas String Project, n.d.). The
UTSA String Project had been providing lessons to students in the Edgewood school
district in three of the elementary schools. Edgewood provided weekday bussing for
students to both the downtown and main campuses of UTSA where they were taught
violin and guitar. It was my belief that String Project and El Sistema should have a
natural relationship. Both programs seek to teach young and aspiring musicians but
approach from two different angles. While String Project focuses on providing a
structured learning environment for young music teachers, El Sistema is a program that
provides social change for youth through rigorous ensemble instruction and music
education. The joining of young well-trained teachers already accustomed to working
with young musicians, and a beginning class of strings players seemed a natural fit.
It was through The String Project at UTSA that I found my lead teaching artist,
Martin Sanchez. I was introduced to Martin through Dr. Eugene Dowdy, professor and
director of orchestral studies at UTSA. I had known Dr. Dowdy from my own
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experiences as a music student in San Antonio. While there was no formal agreement
between UTSA and YOSA, I was able to use Dr. Dowdy as a resource for finding music
teachers and music education majors who might be a great fit for YOSA MÁS. Martin
had been managing the downtown String Project as part of his graduating requirements.
He was hired as a lead teaching artist with YOSA MÁS during his last semester. It was a
“homecoming” of sorts since Martin was an alumnus of the Edgewood Academy. The
other two teaching artists, Sovreyne Chadwick and Jackson Hocott, were hired as recent
college graduates from Scheiner University and Vanderbilt University respectively.
Sovreyne was a former cello student of mine from when I taught Applied Cello at
Schriener University. Jackson Hocott sent in his resume and letter of interest in answer to
a call for teaching artists on the main YOSA website.
After many discussions and meetings with Dr. Emma Dromgoole, Edgewood Fine
Arts Director, the big details were sorted out—the MOU, bussing, snacks, and teaching
artists, we, the teaching artists and I, turned our attention to building the calendar and
determining the curriculum for the pilot year of YOSA MÁS. The first year I decided we
would break up into two parts, the first part of the semester would be focused on basic
skills using a modified Suzuki method. Suzuki uses rote and disguised repetition as part
of its teaching method. Students first learn using pizzicato, plucking the strings of the
instrument and then finally move to using the bow and playing “arco.” Over time,
students learn and memorize longer and longer tunes on their instrument. The second part
of the year coincided with the second semester. For this portion of the year the students
would focus on reading. From the MLC inventory YOSA MÁS had Essential Elements
2000 books available for use. We took advantage of this inventory and used those books
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
for the second semester. The overarching idea behind the whole year was to get fourth
grade students prepared for the possibility of continuing string instructions for another
year with YOSA MÁS, while fifth grade students had the option of moving on and
participating in their middle school orchestra if possible. If the middle school had no
orchestra as part of its curriculum, fifth grade students could continue to attend YOSA
MÁS or participate in the youngest string orchestra at YOSA, Prelude Strings.
Performances were scheduled to occur roughly once a month. I titled them
Informances after the performances that students in the Texas Tech University String
Project presented at the end of each semester. Unlike the Informances at TTU String
Project, YOSA MÁS students would perform monthly. Other performances scheduled for
students coincided with two of the performances for the youngest of YOSA ensembles,
Prelude and Capriccio. The first concert with Prelude and Capriccio took the place of an
end of the semester concert for YOSA MÁS. While these performances were being
planned, I was working also with Patrick Slevin, executive director of Austin
Soundwaves and former Sistema Fellow, to plan a collaborative concert between his
students and YOSA MÁS.
With this last part of the year planned the transition of the MLC to YOSA MÁS
was complete. To the best of my ability, with the tools and resources I had available, I
was able to bring the program as close to the five fundamentals of El Sistema as possible:
social change, ensemble, frequency, accessibility, and connectivity. By creating a space
for elementary school students to begin string lessons, and helping to build up the
orchestra program at Edgewood, we were creating an environment of social change
through the vehicle of music with students in Edgewood ISD. These students learned the
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value of working in a community and building the skills they needed to compete in the
21st Century. The work that they were doing was the under the guidance and care of
teaching artists and well-trained music educators who cared about the well-being of their
students as much as they cared about the level of playing ability and the musical artistry
that these students achieved. The frequency of the program had been created to allow as
much practice time with the students as the district would admit, and I was working with
the district to try and increase the time spent with students in YOSA MÁS. The program
was open to all students who were interested in learning to play violin, viola, cello, or
double bass. While the majority of the students came from Edgewood there was a
growing number of students, and interest, from local charter schools and other schools in
San Antonio. These students were not turned away and were allowed to participate in the
program along with the others. Finally, a connection was being built between El Sistema
inspired programs in Texas and at the national level to create a greater feeling of
cohesion across the state.
Measuring Outcomes
Throughout the development and planning of YOSA MÁS, plans for measuring
outcomes and impact were put aside until there was some stability in the program. Other
than attendance records and photos from monthly Informances and weekly rehearsals,
YOSA did not ask for outcomes regarding the program. While we were not in the district,
or able to work with students long enough to measure outcomes or to see change that
lasted beyond our residence in the district, we began the process that created space for
orchestra in Edgewood. Orchestra programs in Edgewood and YOSA still have students
who began in YOSA MÁS.
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A short end of the year survey given to students did show positive thoughts and
feelings towards school and the YOSA MÁS program. A copy of the survey given to
students can be found in the appendices, along with graphs of the results. The first
questions on the survey were written to discover students’ overall attitudes about school
and learning. When asked if they enjoyed school, 60% agreed that they did in contrast to
3% who did not. The same percentage of students, 60%, told us they felt that they did
well in school, while 34% only somewhat agreed when asked about school. Twenty-four
percent of students wrote that they felt proudest of getting good grades, followed by 20%
of students stating they felt proud of doing well in a variety of school subjects. A few
students mentioned their participation in YOSA MÁS specifically as something to be
proud of with 10% saying that learning to play an instrument made them proud, and 19%
saying that learning something new in program made them feel proud, and 2%
mentioning that performing made them feel proud. When asked about what was the
difficult part of school, 32% of students surveyed discussed a variety of differing subjects
as hard to learn, 20% mentioned math as being difficult, and 12% mentioned STAAR
testing as being the most difficult part of school. For 9% of students having self-control
was the hardest part about school. When asked about what was the easiest part about
school, students mentioned math at 34%, with a variety of subjects, science, or social
studies, at 17%. Young musicians used words like, “awesome” at 40% or “fun” and
“cool” at 27% to describe what they thought about YOSA MÁS. They let us know that
they thought that playing an instrument at 32%, learning new songs at 21%, and
performing at 18% was the most fun part of being in program. Students described
everything as fun at 31% when asked what they did not like about YOSA MÁS.
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However, they also mentioned learning difficult music at 19%, not enjoying the district
supplied snacks and not being allowed to use the school vending machines at 16% as the
least enjoyable parts of program. The last part of the survey asked students what they
thought about learning to play an instrument and if they enjoyed learning to play music.
Eighty-one percent of students felt they learned to play their instruments well compared
to 3% who did not. The majority of students at 97% enjoyed learning music, while 3%
remained neutral.
Before I learned of the closing of YOSA MÁS, I began working with the Excel
Beyond the Bell San Antonio Out of School Time Collective (EBBSA). The collective
was formed to improve services and access to out-of-school time programs for youth in
San Antonio and Bexar County. Out-of-school time refers to any time that youth are not
actively participating in or in attendance at school. According to Excel Beyond the Bell
San Antonio (n.d.) “less than 19% of all youth have access to high quality programs
outside of school”. The EBBSA mission is to change that number through shared goals,
and outcomes measurement. Through this collective I gained insights about different
techniques for measuring outcomes in out-of-school time programs. In addition to the
surveys like the one above, I had planned to align YOSA MÁS with the Developmental
Assets Profile (DAP) that Excel Beyond the Bell was planning to pilot as a way to
standardize evaluation of service and programs for youth in San Antonio. The
Developmental Assets Profile was created as a way to quantitatively measure the “skills,
experiences, relationships, and behaviors that enable young people to develop into
successful and contributing adults” (Search Institute, n.d.). The Institute has identified 40
assets that it considers are the “building blocks of healthy development” (Search Institute,
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n.d.). These assets have internal and external components such as empowerment, and
constructive use of time, to commitment to learning and positive values (Search Institute,
n.d.). A full list of the Search Institute’s components of the internal and external assets
can be found in the appendices. Using both the DAP and internally developed surveys, I
planned to measure several sets of outcomes for students. Those outcomes included:

Musicianship
o Students learn instrumental playing and ensemble musicianship in
alignment with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills
o Students learn and maintain a high level of instrumental and ensemble
playing
o Students perform in a variety of public venues outside of the Edgewood
school district

Social Change
o Students gain a greater awareness of the musical activities of which they
can be a part, and of the other organizations that they can participate in, in
a musical way
o Students’ attitude about music, and different music genres, is widened and
informed through performance

DAP
o Student surveys show that YOSA MÁS is one of the ways that students
gain through the assets
o Other shared outcomes with those of Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio,
including that every student in attendance at YOSA MÁS is “committed to
learning and becoming college and career ready” (Excel Beyond the Bell
San Antonio, n.d.)
Outcomes would be used to show viability of the program continuing in the district.
Internal YOSA MÁS surveys given at the beginning of the school year, and then again at
the end of the school year would measure changes in students’ attitudes towards school,
learning, and music making. DAP measurements would be given in accordance to
surveys set up through Excel Beyond the Bell. These outcomes would be used to track
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student progress in alignment with the DAP as well as to find ways to improve the
program for greater student enjoyment and achievement.
It was hoped that by showing the added value of music learning in providing a
program that is in alignment with TEKS, helps youth gain awareness of the world and
possibilities outside of their school, and adds to the ways that students gain through the
DAP, that YOSA MÁS would be more useful, and therefore viable, to the district and
YOSA. Unfortunately, I was not able to be with the program long enough to gather and
provide enough data to keep the program going.
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Chapter 5
Close of YOSA MÁS
The study aimed to gain greater insight into four aspects of an American El
Sistema-inspired program:
1. Infrastructure - How is YOSA MÁS organized and does it differ from other
organizations of its kind? How is it the same? If there are differences, are these based
on practices used by and begun in El Sistema?
2. Instruction and Curriculum – What is being taught to students? Is there a specific
curriculum that is being followed? What are other programs using and how can these
ideas be worked into YOSA MÁS?
3. Funding - What are the funding sources of YOSA MÁS and how are they organized?
4. Outcomes – What are the outcomes that YOSA MÁS wishes to achieve for students
and the community it serves? How are these outcomes measured? In what ways will
the results of those measurements be used?
The questions that drove this study are:
1. To what extent were the values and practices of El Sistema being used? What are
those ideals and practices and how are they identified?
2. What prevented the MLC from fully becoming an El Sistema-inspired program and
why?
3. What changes needed to be made to the MLC for it to more fully embrace the
fundamentals of El Sistema?
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4. Why did the program end and what factors may have contributed to the decision to
close the program?
Infrastructure
The infrastructure of YOSA MÁS was not much different than other El Sistemainspired programs around the country. Housed in a community center and under the
umbrella of a larger organization is the variation in which the Music Learning Center was
originally configured. Other programs that are based within a larger organization include
OrchKids, part of the outreach program with the Baltimore Symphony. According to their
website, “OrchKids is a year-round, during and after school, music program designed to
create social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Baltimore City
neighborhoods” (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, 2016). This program’s classes are
housed at local schools within the city of Baltimore. Another large El Sistema-inspired
program that exists within a larger organization is Youth Orchestras of Los Angeles
(YOLA). This program has direct roots to El Sistema in Venezuela through the Los
Angeles Philharmonic’s current music director, Gustavo Dudamel. YOLA’s mission
states, “Through Gustavo Dudamel's Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) program - inspired by
Venezuela's revolutionary El Sistema - the LA Phil and its community partners provide
free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to students from
underserved neighborhoods, empowering them to become vital citizens, leaders,
and agents of change” (Los Angeles Philharmonic, 2016). The program in Los Angeles is
extensive, and one of the oldest in the country beginning in 2007, and combines
community centers, schools, and small “concentrated networks of musical activity” to
make up the entirety of its reach (Los Angeles Philharmonic, 2016). Other models
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include programs housed in churches, and church community centers. The decision to
move YOSA MÁS to the Edgewood Independent School District was made based on the
need to expand the program. There was not enough room at Good Samaritan Community
Services for expansion in class size. We would be limited in the number of students we
could serve. Moving the program would allow us more room for expansion.
Despite the idyllic surroundings at the Edgewood Academy, the conditions under
which teaching artists were being asked to work was not ideal. The Edgewood Academy
had a large recital room, a concert hall, and plenty of rooms that were not used during the
after school hours, as well as a safe space to store instruments. However, problems arose
when trying to transport students from their respective schools to the Academy. In
addition, because of changes in the district, there was pressure to keep the number of
days that students would be able to participate limited. Discussions with Dr. Emma
Dromgoole at the end of the first year revealed that YOSA MÁS could no longer take
place three days out of the week, but only two days, and the district was asking for more
students to be allowed into the program despite the reduced teaching time (Dromgoole, E,
personal communication, May 2014). Reduced teaching days meant that the El Sistema
ideal of intensive music instruction would be more difficult to achieve.
Curriculum and Instruction
Students at the MLC were taught using a curriculum and method developed by
Maggie Raveneau, former director of the MLC at GSCS. She developed her program and
method based on color coding both the music and the instruments so that students could
quickly learn short songs based on color identification (Peter, T. personal
communication, 2012). However due to the sporadic attendance of many students at the
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
MLC, learning and ensemble work was difficult to maintain. When the program moved
to the Edgewood Academy the curriculum was influenced by the training of Martin
Sanchez, Leading Teaching Artist for YOSA MÁS. Martin combined Suzuki rote
teaching methods at the start of lessons, and then moved to Essential Elements 2000
beginning strings books to teach both reading and playing to students.
Discussions at conferences and with other program directors revealed that there is
a wide variety of curricula used in El Sistema-inspired programs. In addition, not all
programs focus on instrumental music making. For example, ComMUSIcation in St.
Paul, Minnesota is an El Sistema-inspired program based on choral music making rather
than instrumental (ComMUSIcation, 2015). Other programs showed learning in jazz,
composition, and even rock on across the country.
Funding
All funding for the Music Learning Center was provided by YOSA, and when the
program transitioned to YOSA MÁS that funding model did not change. While at the
beginning of my tenure with the program I was told that all funding would continue to be
taken care of by YOSA, at the end of the program I was informed that anything new, or
any expansion that I wanted to create would be my responsibility to fund. This decision
was based on the YOSA board no longer wanting to fund the program in its then current
structure.
Outcomes
Some of the difficulties in gathering accurate data at the MLC came from Good
Samaritan Community Services holding most of the information about the students.
Because students in the MLC classes were initially registered as Good Samaritan
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
students, that organization was able to get data about their student population. While
GSCS was good about sharing the data they collected they were not always able to get
the information to YOSA in a timely manner (Peters, T, personal communication, 2012).
Moving to Edgewood posed many of the same problems in gathering data about students.
However, it was easier to collect student data in the form of end of the year surveys (see
appendices). I was not able to determine whether or not the teaching artists, or Maggie
Raveneau, of the MLC collected any surveys about the students they had in attendance.
Through discussions with other program directors in the field of El Sistemainspired programs I learned that many programs ran into similar problems collecting data
about their students. In my planning for the next year of YOSA MÁS, I had decided to
give two similar surveys (see appendices) to gauge student school enjoyment, efficacy,
and how much they enjoyed music making. In addition, to internal surveys, I had planned
to work the Excel Beyond the Bell San Antonio Out-of-School Time collective, and their
use of the 40 Developmental Assets as a way to measure whether or not we were
delivering a high quality program. Other organizations that use the DAP to determine
outcomes include KidzNotes in Raleigh Durham, North Carolina (KidzNotes, 2016).
According to KidzNotes (2016), “Through immersion in ensembles and orchestras,
children develop the SEARCH Institute’s [DAP] identified social skills that are critical
for success in school and adulthood, including accountability, mutual respect, teamwork,
intrinsic motivation, critical listening, discipline, focus and attention”. Their use of the
DAP has allowed KidzNotes to gather data which they can share with funders and others
which might be interested in the programs they offer.
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The Close of YOSA MÁS
At the end of the spring semester 2014, YOSA decided to close YOSA MÁS as
an after school strings program at Edgewood Academy. Discussions with Troy Peters led
me to believe that the program was closed as a result of a board decision. In actuality,
YOSA had decided to restructure the program to look more like outreach programming
that YOSA had begun at the same time as the MLC at Good Samaritan Community
Services. When the last remaining member of the YOSA board, who had been in favor of
YOSA MÁS stepped down from his position as board president, and the decision was
made to change the program. YOSA believed that they could create a faster impact by
reframing YOSA MÁS to look more like the Roosevelt Compact.
The Roosevelt Compact
YOSA had begun outreach programming on San Antonio’s northeast side in
collaboration with Rackspace’s efforts to improve the areas directly around the campus of
the company. All funding for this collaboration was underwritten by Rackspace, while
YOSA provided the administration and teaching artists. The Roosevelt Compact works at
all three levels of the public school system in San Antonio, specifically the Northeast
Independent School District elementary and middle schools which feed into Roosevelt
High School. Teaching artists are recruited from area professional musicians, many of
whom are part of the San Antonio Symphony.
At the elementary school level, YOSA provides a teaching assistant to come in
twice weekly and assist with fifth grade after school strings. Middle school orchestra
directors at Ed White and Krueger Middle Schools are the primary teachers for all fifth
grade after school strings that feed into their respective middle schools, and all after
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school strings programs are taught at the two middle schools. YOSA provides two types
of scholarships for middle school students, YOSA MÁS Scholar and a YOSA
Scholarship. Students awarded either of these scholarships are chosen by their middle
school orchestra director, and are chosen based on their ability to exhibit leadership
potential in orchestra as well as financial need.
The YOSA Scholarship provides full tuition into a YOSA ensemble for one year,
and full tuition in the YOSA Summer Symphony Camp held each July. This allows
students who might not otherwise have the means, to be a part of YOSA. For students
selected as YOSA MÁS Scholars, an extra benefit is awarded in addition to full tuition to
YOSA and Summer Symphony Camp. Scholars are given 20 private lessons with an
assigned teaching artist, to be taken over the academic year. These lessons are designed
to give Scholars the added benefit of private lessons in addition to participation in YOSA.
Other benefits that YOSA provides are sectional coaches to work with students at both
middle schools and the high school level. Orchestra directors at the middle schools and
high school determine when and with what groups the teaching artists work.
While this outreach program works well and provides a quicker return on
investment for both YOSA and Rackspace, it does not fit into the Guiding Principles for
an El Sistema inspired program. Troy Peters refers to the Roosevelt Compact, now called
YOSA MÁS (Music At School), as an El Sistema legacy program, this is due to the
history that YOSA has with El Sistema, and not the structure or philosophy underneath
this outreach programming. Rackspace provides funding for only the schools in the
Northeast ISD, which restricts access to the benefits of the program to students who
attend only those schools. While YOSA has structured what was YOSA MÁS at
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Edgewood, to look like the Roosevelt Compact, it is uncertain how long they will
continue to fund student music learning.
Plans for future programs
A variety of deterrents got in the way of the MLC from fully becoming an El
Sistema-inspired program. For example, the lack of space for expansion at Good
Samaritan Community Services, in addition to the limited number of students that the
Center serves, did not allow for growth and maximum access for all students. At the
Edgewood Academy, YOSA MÁS was able to move closer to the ideals of an El
Sistema-inspired program by reaching a greater number of students, with
accommodations for students outside of the district, more consistent attendance and
rehearsals with students three times weekly, and creating the space in the district for a
multi-year curriculum within the district. But upcoming restrictions on how often we
could meet with students and the loss of funding for the program meant that the program
was not able to continue. However, I had started planning for the upcoming year in
YOSA MÁS, and wanted to begin to put together plans for program expansion as well as
for students in YOSA MÁS to perform with other El Sistema-inspired programs in Texas.
This program plan is based on the nucléo plan for Youth Orchestra of the Lower Ninth
Ward developed by the 2013 class of Sistema Fellows. While many items in this model
are used, much must be modified to fit within the infrastructure at the Edgewood
Academy. In addition, this model is written for the best possible circumstances, and
assumes students maintained a three-day rehearsal schedule.
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
Case for Need
YOSA MÁS is a needed program in a school district that is undergoing drastic
changes to administrative leadership and is perceived in San Antonio as a poor and poor
performing district. The effects of a stable program in which students can strive together
towards the common goal of music making can be impactful for students experiencing
instability both in their school day, and at home. With the guidance of field leaders and
the support of local programs, YOSA MÁS will work to promote 21st Century Skill sets,
pro-social behaviors, and a high musical level for all students in the program.
Year Two of YOSA MÁS (After Pilot Year)
I.
Operations Plan (Infrastructure)
a. The MOU between YOSA MÁS and Edgewood ISD will be discussed and
renewed with the following items added or retained:
b. YOSA MÁS will continue to run concurrent with the academic school
year of Edgewood ISD. All school holidays and teacher in-service days
will be observed.
c. YOSA MÁS will continue to operate at the Edgewood Academy
i. Additional rooms will be needed to hold the first and second year
of students.
ii. Carpooling for students will be explored as an alternate to bussing,
otherwise students will continue to be bussed to the Academy.
iii. Edgewood will continue to provide snacks for students of YOSA
MÁS; all snacks provided to students in Edgewood are required to
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
be provided by the district, any students not a part of the district
will be given snacks provided by YOSA.
iv. YOSA MÁS will have one core ensemble at first, and will add
additional ensembles as student performance level grows. For the
post pilot year, YOSA MÁS will need only one core ensemble.
1. Students will perform in monthly Informances, concerts
designed to inform the community about music making,
where their child is in their music learning, as well as show
off new music students have learned.
2. Students will perform in two major performances with
other students in YOSA. The end of the year performance
to be at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts along
with other students as part of Yosapalooza, a performance
of all ensembles in the YOSA organization. The mid-year
performance venue will be a collaboration between YOSA
MÁS and another Texas El Sistema-inspired program,
details are to be determined.
v. YOSA MÁS staff will work to ensure a total of 25-30 new students
recruited into the program at the start of the new year; all students
who were previously part of YOSA MÁS are invited to return to
continue their music learning.
d. Typical Operating Schedule
Monday
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Tuesday
Wednesday
Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
II.
As students arrive
until 3:30pm
Snack and
tutoring
Snack and
tutoring
Snack and
tutoring
3:30-4:15pm
Sectionals by
instrument
Sectionals by
instrument
Sectionals by
instrument
4:15-5:00pm
Ensemble
Ensemble
Ensemble
Curriculum and Instruction
a. Beginning students will start a similar learning plan as set up in the pilot
year.
b. Returning students will continue to work under the supervision of a Lead
Teaching Artist. Teaching Artists will assess the level of students when
they return from summer vacation and determine where they need to
review, and what new challenges they can handle.
III.
Funding
a. All funding for YOSA MÁS will continue to be provided by YOSA.
However, with new data gathered from the DAP and internal surveys,
collaboration between the YOSA MÁS director and the development team
at YOSA will work to provide additional funding for program expansion,
hiring additional Teaching Artists, and possible travel.
IV.
Outcomes
a. Internal surveys will be given at the beginning of the year, and at the end
of the year to determine changes in student efficacy and attitudes towards
learning, school, and music learning.
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
b. YOSA MÁS will participate in the DAP studies through Excel Beyond the
Bell San Antonio to build greater alignment with the 40 Developmental
Assets.
Plan summary
This plan, while still basic, would have worked well with the YOSA MÁS
program as it was prior to it being disbanded in 2014. There are currently no plans to
rebuild this program at YOSA, instead relying on the Roosevelt Compact model both in
North East Independent School District, as well as in the Edgewood ISD. In addition,
there are no plans to rebuild an El Sistema-inspired instrumental program in the city of
San Antonio.
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
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Appendix A
Timeline – YOSA, me, & El Sistema
YOSA adopted the El Sistema model in 2008 when they launched the Music Learning
Center at the Good Samaritan Community Services.
The MLC went through about three years of trying out different iterations of the
program to find the right fit:



At first students were allowed to choose music as an “elective” from their menu
of after school activities
The second year all students were required to participate in the music program.
The third year only the younger students were required to participate in the school
music program, the older students could opt out.
2012--The fourth year and last year of the program at Good Sam
I was hired in that year to try and revitalize the Music Learning Center and find a
way to make it work. That last year at Good Sam consisted of the fall term—the program
was dark while I worked out some details—and the spring term. In the spring 2013 we
offered strings classes to interested students. Class attendance was spotty, but one student
Jayleen Rangel is still a member of YOSA and continuing to play violin as a result of
starting at the MLC. This was the year YOSA changed the name of the MLC to YOSA
MÁS, YOSA Music at School.
2013/2014
YOSA MÁS was in pilot at the Edgewood ISD Fine Arts Academy (now called
the Edgewood Academy). The year began strong with about 50 students, however due to
bussing issues, after school tutoring, and other problems, attendance was poor. A number
of students and students’ families were identified as being pro-active and supportive of
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their child’s music education. These families are still part of YOSA and those students
are now part of YOSA Prelude Strings. I teach three of these students privately (2 violin,
and one cello) at no/low cost to the family.
Summer 2014
The YOSA board decided to cut the YOSA MÁS program and restructure it to
look more like another more successful outreach program that YOSA had been running
concurrently on San Antonio’s east side. This program, then called the Roosevelt
Compact, is underwritten by Rackspace. Rackspace was seeking to provide funding for
arts and education improvement in the area “that they could see all around them”. This
means that only the high school, two feeder middle schools, and four elementary schools
are funded by Rackspace. The model used in this program is not based on El Sistema, but
rather provides sectional coaching for all strings in each of the middle schools and the
high school, an assistant string teacher for the after school strings programs at the
elementary schools, and private lessons for selected students at the high school. This
program has allowed for a small number of students each year to achieve a high level of
string playing, successful audition into YOSA’s various ensembles, and some of the
students have gone on to college (usually the first in their family) and become music
education majors. The Roosevelt Compact is in the Northeast ISD, a relatively affluent
district. The schools that are served by the Compact—now called YOSA MÁS
Roosevelt—are located in a pocket of low income and working poor within the larger
district. While other schools in the district enjoy strong string programs, this part
struggled.
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
In Edgewood YOSA MÁS has been restructured to look more like YM Roosevelt.
The Academy middle school (formerly the Edgewood Fine Arts Academy) now houses
the districts orchestra program. Three students from the Academy have been selected by
their orchestra director to participate in private lessons paid for by YOSA. YOSA
provides a String Mentor to assistant in teaching at one of Edgewood’s magnet school’s
after school strings program, and YOSA also teaches one class of after school strings at a
second elementary school in the district. All String Mentors and instructors are contracted
musicians within the city of San Antonio.
I have been hired on at YOSA as Operations Coordinator. I still run the YOSA
MÁS programs in both Edgewood and at the Roosevelt Compact, but at a lower level
with no decision making power. I provide scheduling and resources for all the contracted
instructors who work with YM students and I make weekly visits to all schools served by
the YM program.
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Appendix B
Memorandum of Understanding
Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Music After School and Edgewood Independent
School District Fine Arts Academy
Introduction:
Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) recognizes the need for effective
communication and cooperation between the Edgewood Independent School District Fine
Arts Academy and Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Music After School (YOSA MÁS)
for both to succeed in creating the space for transformative learning in the lives of
children and families on the west side of San Antonio, Texas. It is necessary to create this
document to define the boundaries each organization agrees to follow. By creating this
memorandum of understanding both organizations allow this avenue for learning through
music to become a reality.
Purpose:
The purpose of this document is to set out the boundaries and guidelines by which each
organization will conduct programs in cooperation with one other. This document will be
implemented beginning July 1, 2013. This document will be used to mediate between
each organization and to help set up delineate guidelines for duties of each organization.
At the end of the academic year 2013-2014 both organizations may revisit this document
for any changes or revisions that may be requested.
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Scope:
The scope of the document will include the Edgewood Independent School District
Edgewood Fine Arts Academy and Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Music After School
(YOSA MÁS). Each organization has its own guidelines for operation outside of this
document.
Definitions:

Maintenance includes the care and function of each room, instrument, or teaching
supplies.

Instrument/s includes all instruments owned by YOSA and provided for use by
YOSA MÁS students.

Teaching supplies included tools, books, or any other items that may be required
for the successful teaching of applied music to students. YOSA will provide its
own supplies unless otherwise agreed upon in this document.

Students include school age children who are enrolled in the Edgewood
Independent School District Fine Arts Academy and YOSA MÁS, or who have
been involved in YOSA MÁS prior to July 1, 2013.

Teaching Artists/Staff/Volunteers include the Teaching Artists, staff, and
volunteers who are part of YOSA MÁS and are not part of Edgewood ISD Fine
Arts Academy staff or programs.
Teaching Artists and YOSA Staff
All training of YOSA MÁS Teaching Artists will be done within YOSA. No training of
Teaching Artists will be needed by Edgewood ISD Fine Arts Academy. All YOSA MÁS
Teaching Artists will be employees of YOSA, however all YOSA MÁS Teaching Artists
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will submit to a background check through the Edgewood ISD in addition to the
background check required by YOSA.
Emergency Procedures and Student Safety
YOSA directors will be given information about emergency procedures and requirements
within Edgewood ISD Fine Arts Academy, including emergency exits in case of fire or
other natural disasters, and any procedures associated with the safety of students and
Teaching Artists in YOSA MÁS. This information will be passed to all Teaching Artists
in YOSA MÁS.
Instruments and Other Supplies Needed for Teaching
All teaching equipment includes musical instruments and the supplies needed to teach
those instruments will be provided by YOSA. Edgewood ISD Fine Arts Academy will
provide some items such as chairs and stands. Items provided by Edgewood will remain
on Edgewood property.
Transportation of Students
YOSA MÁS Teaching Artists and director/staff/volunteers will work with Edgewood
ISD Fine Arts Academy teaching staff to bring students to YOSA MÁS after school
before the program starts each afternoon that school is in session. All students who are
participating in the program will be brought to the Edgewood Fine Arts Academy via a
bus provided by Edgewood ISD. YOSA MÁS Teaching Artists, directors, and staff will
assist Edgewood teaching staff in getting students to their proper classroom once they
have arrived on campus. At the end of each program day, YOSA MÁS Teaching Artists,
director, and staff will assist Edgewood teaching staff with students who are waiting to be
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picked up by their parents or guardians. YOSA MÁS director will wait with students
until all students are picked up.
YOSA MÁS students will participate in two concerts off the Edgewood ISD Fine Arts
Academy campus. For both concerts Edgewood ISD will provide bus transportation for
students in YOSA MÁS to and from the concert venues. The concerts are part of the
Junior Strings Series of YOSA concerts and allow YOSA MÁS students to meet students
outside their home district who also play orchestral string music. The dates, locations,
and times for these concerts are:


December 17, 2013 at the Magik Theater from 6:30 P.M. until 8:00 P.M.
April 29, 2014 at the Carver Community Cultural Center from 6:30 P.M. until
8:00 P.M.
Classrooms and Performance Space
The space used to teach students in YOSA MÁS will be provided by Edgewood ISD Fine
Arts Academy for the duration of each program session during the times set up for
program operation. Currently, this time period coincides with the Edgewood ISD
academic calendar, which begins August 2013 through June 2014. Anytime that
Edgewood ISD will not have regularly scheduled classes YOSA MÁS will not meet.
Changes to the dates and times in which YOSA MÁS will be in session will be discussed
prior to the new Edgewood ISD academic year. Times that YOSA MÁS will need access
to the rooms are just prior to program start and shortly after program end (3:30PM7:00PM, Tuesday through Thursday). Students will be picked up by their
parents/guardians after program each day at the Edgewood ISD Fine Arts Academy
building. YOSA MÁS Teaching Artists and/or staff/volunteers along with Edgewood
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
ISD Fine Arts Academy teaching staff will supervise students waiting to be picked up by
parents/guardians.
YOSA MÁS requests a minimum of three rooms used solely for the purpose of YOSA
MÁS during the times that the program is in session and that one additional room with
limited access is used for instrument and equipment storage. Edgewood ISD Fine Arts
Academy will ensure that the classrooms, instrument storage, and performance space
needed are accessible by YOSA MÁS Teaching Artists, director, and staff on program
and Informance days. If after-hours access is required, Edgewood ISD Fine Arts
Academy will provide a way to allow YOSA MÁS Teaching Artists, director, and staff
access to the room/s needed. YOSA MÁS understands that space is at a premium.
However, only YOSA MÁS should use the rooms while the program is in session.
Rooms should not be changed during program operation. If changes need to be made to
rooms for teaching, performance, and instrument storage, then this should be discussed
and agreed upon prior to the start of a new program session. (Reminder: all program
sessions are for one academic year.) If the needs arises that Edgewood ISD Fine Arts
Academy requires a room during the days in which program is in session, then Edgewood
ISD Fine Arts Academy should notify the director whom will then provide guidelines for
use of the room.
YOSA MÁS asks that the Recital Hall at Edgewood ISD Fine Arts Academy be reserved
for YOSA MÁS concerts and Informances. Each Informance will occur at 6:00 P.M. to
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6:30 P.M. on the first Thursday of each month beginning October 2013. A light reception
will follow each Informance. All Informance activities should be completed by 7:00 P.M.
Maintenance
YOSA MÁS will maintain its instruments and teaching tools. Edgewood ISD Fine Arts
Academy will maintain the rooms used for teaching and instrument storage. This includes
the climate control/temperature/air conditioning and heating of each room used by YOSA
MÁS. YOSA MÁS asks that the instrument room remains at a consistent temperature
(74°F) to maintain the instruments that are housed there. YOSA MÁS will contact the
Fine Arts Coordinator, Dr. Emma Dromgoole, with maintenance issues that may arise.
Edgewood ISD Fine Arts Academy will provide the procedures and guidelines through
which YOSA MÁS will attend to maintenance issues having to do with the building and
broken or damaged Edgewood ISD Fine Arts Academy furniture or building fixtures.
Liability
Edgewood ISD will be responsible for all liability to its students and teaching staff. Any
students or teaching staff that are not enrolled or employed by Edgewood ISD will be
covered by YOSA.
Funding
YOSA will work with Edgewood ISD staff to develop additional funding sources for
YOSA MÁS and other music/arts programs at Edgewood as opportunities arise. YOSA
will work with staff assigned by Edgewood ISD to ensure any proposals developed for
joint funding meet the needs of both organizations. Edgewood ISD approval procedures
for funding requests will be provided to YOSA no later than July 15, 2013.
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Oversight
YOSA MÁS Director, Aurelia G. Rocha, maintains oversight of YOSA MÁS. All
questions about policy changes that affect how, where, and when YOSA MÁS operates
should be directed to Ms. Rocha.
Updates to the MOU:
Changes to policy which affect how, where, and when YOSA MÁS operates will be
made prior to the new session or Edgewood ISD academic year. If changes are needed
during the time in which program is in session, both the director of YOSA MÁS and the
Fine Arts Coordinator of Edgewood ISD Fine Arts Academy must agree to those
changes. Any changes that are made will result in an addendum to the current MOU. At
the start of the new program session, beginning August 2014, a new MOU will be
created.
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Appendix C
Phases of the Sistema Fellows Program
Phase I: Sept-Oct: Orientation, Understanding of El Sistema




A six-week introduction to the field of El Sistema in action
Included program visits, American music education history, and the philosophical
framework of El Sistema teachings with additional studies on the thoughts and
ideas of Maxine Greene and Paulo Freire, among others.
Through consultations with noted leaders in the field of non-profit work fellows
began to craft personal mission statement and identify goals while at NEC
Developed a potential group project that would contribute to the advancement of
El Sistema in the field
Phase II: Oct-Nov: Fieldwork


A four-week period where fellows spent time exploring Sistema based programs
on their own, as well as related programming
Each fellow conducted research with the goal to bring back gathered knowledge
from the field to the class. This information was presented publicly once each
Fellow had returned to Boston.
Phase III: Nov-Dec: Research, Evaluation, and Assessment



The last month of the semester was spent in discovery of what additional
knowledge was needed for the field.
The overall challenge of the last month of the first semester was to design ways
that El Sistema inspired programs can measure and document results of
assessment and evaluation in their respective programs. The results of this
challenge was shared across programs and with colleagues in the field.
At the same time, fellows were charged with preparations for the spring semester
and a spring time meeting of ES-i programs as well as a seminario in
Philadelphia.
Phase IV: Jan-March: Building and Practicing Skills



The start of the year began with an examination and a practicing of skills gained
over the course of the previous semester.
Fellows attended a series of seminars and lectures on grassroots development,
non-profit finance, and other aspects of financial understanding for program
development.
Theoretical ideas were practiced in real situations and real projects.
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


Past fellows visited the current class to share experiences and expand on what the
fellows were doing.
Plans were set up and executed, along with past fellows, to design, promote, and
produce a seminario at NEC.
Fellows began preparations for their trip to Venezuela in April, including learning
to teach music in Spanish.
Phase V: April: Venezuelan Residency


Fellows were the special guests of FundaMusical Simón Bolívar.
Each Fellow was sent out to observe and teach in the large urban nucléos of
Caracas and Barquismeto, and even some of the smaller nucléos around the
country.
Phase VI: May: Reflection and Graduation

The last weeks of the fellowship were spent in reflection and preparation for
work in the field with the possibility of setting up their own programs.
(Marlow & Sandoval, 2014, pp. 9-14)
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Appendix D
List of El Sistema Fellows:
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2010
Dan Berkowitz
Jonathan Govias
Lorrie Heagy
Rebecca Levi
David Malek
Dantes Rameau
Alvaro Rodas
Stanford Thompson
Christine Witkowski
Kathryn Wyatt
2011
Graciela Briceño
David Gracia
Laura Jekel
Steven Liu
Marie Montilla
Andrea Profili
Elizabeth Schurgin
Patrick Slevin
Adrienne Taylor
Isabel Trautwein
2012
Aisha Bowden
Julie Davis
David France
Ben Fuller
José Luis Hernández-Estrada
Stephanie Hsu
Jennifer Kessler
Alysia Lee
Avi Mehta
Albert Oppenheimer
2013
Jessie Berne
Rachel Hockenberry
Andrea Landin
Diogo Pereira
Carlos Roldan
Elaine Sandoval
Elise Seymour
Xochitl Tafoya
Monique Van Willingh
Sara Zanussi
2014
Amelia Combrink
Ayriole Frost
Beverly Hiong
Eriel Huang
Tatjana Merzyn
Megan Moran
Hana Morford
Ricki Nelson
Aubree Weiley
Clara Yang
Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
Appendix E
YOSA MÁS end of year survey
Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
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Appendix F
Examples of student surveys
Student name
omitted
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Appendix G
Results from YOSA MÁS student surveys:
Do you enjoy school?
Neutral
9%
Disagree
3%
Agree
Somewhat Agree
Somewhat Agree
28%
Neutral
Somewhat Disagree
Agree
60%
Disagree
Somewhat
Disagree
0%
Do you do well in school
Neutral
6%
Agree
Somewhat Agree
Somewhat Agree
34%
Neutral
Somewhat Disagree
Agree
60%
Disagree
Somewhat
Disagree
0%
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Disagree
0%
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When have you felt the proudest at school?
Performing
2%
Well in subject:
various
20%
Good Grades
24%
Good Grades
Doing well in math
Learning something new in YM
Being in YM
All the time
10%
Doing well in math
10%
Learning to play an instrument
All the time
Well in subject: various
Learning to play an
instrument
10%
Being in YM
5%
Performing
Learning something
new in YM
19%
What is the hardest part about school?
Learning math
20%
Learning math
Subject: various
32%
Nothing about school
is difficult
9%
Reading/Writing
12%
Having self control
Having self control
9%
Getting along with others
Getting along with
others
6%
Reading/Writing
Testing/STAAR
12%
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Testing/STAAR
Nothing about school is difficult
Subject: various
Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
What is the easiest part of school
Music
6%
Reading/Writing
14%
Everything
12%
Learning
3%
Reading/Writing
Recess/Lunch
14%
Recess/Lunch
Subjects: various
Math
Learning
Everything
Subjects: various
17%
Math
34%
Music
What do you think about YOSA Más?
Like it
15%
Encouraging
6%
Awesome
40%
Good/Great
6%
Awesome
Fun/Cool
Enjoyable
Good/Great
Encouraging
Enjoyable
6%
Like it
Fun/Cool
27%
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What was most fun about YOSA MÁS?
Parties/Games
16%
Performing
18%
Being with friends
3%
Performing
Learning new songs
Everything
Learning new songs
21%
Playing an
instrument
32%
Playing an instrument
Being with friends
Parties/Games
Everything
10%
What did you not like about YOSA MÁS?
The end of class day
9%
Waiting for classes
to begin
Long days 6%
3%
Everything was fun
Learning difficult music
Everything was fun
31%
Snacks/No snack machine
Waiting for the bus
Teachers getting
angry
10%
Teachers getting angry
Long days
Waiting for the bus
6%
Snacks/No snack
machine
16%
Waiting for classes to begin
Learning difficult
music
19%
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The end of class day
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Do you think you learned to play your
instrument well?
Disagree
3%
Somewhat Agree
16%
Agree
Somewhat Agree
Neutral
Somewhat Disagree
Disagree
Agree
81%
Somewhat Disagree
0%
Neutral
0%
Do you enjoy playing music?
Neutral
3%
Agree
Somewhat Agree
Neutral
Somewhat Disagree
Disagree
Somewhat Agree
0%
Agree
97%
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Somewhat Disagree
0%
Disagree
0%
Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
Appendix H
40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents
Search Institute has identified the following building blocks of healthy development—
known as Developmental Assets—that help young children grow up healthy, caring, and
responsible. This particular list is intended for adolescents (age 12-18). If you'd like to
see the lists for other age groups, you can find them on the Developmental Assets Lists
page. For more information on the assets and the research behind them, see the
Developmental Assets research page.
EXTERNAL ASSETS
SUPPORT
1. Family Support | Family life provides high levels of love and support.
2. Positive Family Communication | Young person and her or his parent(s)
communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel
from parents.
3. Other Adult Relationships | Young person receives support from three or more
nonparent adults.
4. Caring Neighborhood | Young person experiences caring neighbors.
5. Caring School Climate | School provides a caring, encouraging environment.
6. Parent Involvement in Schooling | Parent(s) are actively involved in helping the
child succeed in school.
EMPOWERMENT
7. Community Values Youth | Young person perceives that adults in the
community value youth.
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8. Youth as Resources | Young people are given useful roles in the community.
9. Service to Others | Young person serves in the community one hour or more per
week.
10. Safety | Young person feels safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.
BOUNDARIES AND EXPECTATIONS 11. Family Boundaries | Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the
young person’s whereabouts.
12. School Boundaries | School provides clear rules and consequences.
13. Neighborhood Boundaries | Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young
people’s behavior. 14. Adult Role Models | Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible
behavior. 15. Positive Peer Influence | Young person's best friends model responsible
behavior.
16. High Expectations | Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to
do well. CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME
17. Creative Activities | Young person spends three or more hours per week in
lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts
18. Youth Programs | Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports,
clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.
19. Religious Community | Young person spends one hour or more per week in
activities in a religious institution.
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20. Time at Home | Young person is out with friends "with nothing special to do"
two or fewer nights per week.
INTERNAL ASSETS COMMITMENT TO LEARNING 21. Achievement Motivation | Young person is motivated to do well in school.
22. School Engagement | Young person is actively engaged in learning.
23. Homework | Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every
school day.
24. Bonding to School | Young person cares about her or his school.
25. Reading for Pleasure | Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per
week.
POSITIVE VALUES
26. Caring | Young Person places high value on helping other people.
27. Equality and Social Justice | Young person places high value on promoting
equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
28. Integrity | Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.
29. Honesty | Young person "tells the truth even when it is not easy."
30. Responsibility | Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
31. Restraint | Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to
use alcohol or other drugs.
SOCIAL COMPETENCIES
32. Planning and Decision Making | Young person knows how to plan ahead and
make choices.
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33. Interpersonal Competence | Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and
friendship skills.
34. Cultural Competence | Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people
of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
35. Resistance Skills | Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous
situations.
36.Peaceful Conflict Resolution | Young person seeks to resolve conflict
nonviolently
POSITIVE IDENTITY
37. Personal Power | Young person feels he or she has control over "things that
happen to me."
38. Self-Esteem | Young person reports having a high self-esteem.
39. Sense of Purpose | Young person reports that "my life has a purpose."
40. Positive View of Personal Future | Young person is optimistic about her or his
personal future.
This list is an educational tool. It is not intended to be nor is it appropriate as a scientific
measure of the developmental assets of individuals.
Copyright © 1997, 2007 by Search Institute. All rights reserved. This chart may be
reproduced for educational, noncommercial use only (with this copyright line). No other
use is permitted without prior permission from Search Institute, 615 First Avenue N.E.,
Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413; 800-888-7828. See Search Institute's Permissions
Guidelines and Request Form. The following are registered trademarks
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Appendix I
Driving goals of Excel Beyond the Bell
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Appendix J
Instrument Take Home Contract for Students and Parents
!
Instrument Take Home Contract for Students and Parents
Dear Student and Family:
We are so pleased that you are studying with us at YOSA MÁS!
As a string player you are allowed to borrow a YOSA owned instrument for each lesson. These
instruments are very valuable both as musical instruments and as tools for learning. The
replacement cost for each instrument is $1000. Taking home an instrument for practice at home
can be fun and helpful to your learning, but you must remember the rules for proper instrument
care and ownership.
These rules include:
o
Do not leave your instrument in the car.
o
Do not leave your instrument anyplace where it will experience extremes of
temperature or in high traffic areas where cracking or damage may occur.
o
Do not allow anyone but you or your parents or guardians to handle your
instrument.
o
Contact your teacher if any damage happens to ensure a quick fix for future
classes.
o
Always remember to bring your instrument back to YOSA MÁS, even if you are
not able to attend lessons that day.
By signing a copy of this letter, you are agreeing to abide by the rules of care and understand
that you are responsible for the instrument while it is loaned to you.
Signed:
_____________________________________
Teacher
_____________________________________
Student
_____________________________________
Parent or Guardian
YOSA!MÁS!Instrument!Take!Home!Contract!
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!Page 1 of 4!
Current as of 2/11/2014
Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
!
YOSA MÁS INSTRUMENT CHECK OUT FORM
Name: ___________________________Phone: ______________________
Address: _______________________ ______
_______________________ ______
The instrument listed below is loaned to the above student for the Fall Semester
2013.
Instrument: _____________________
Number/Color: __________________
Condition: ____________________________________________________
Accessories:
Shoulder Rest
Bow
Rock Stop
Rosin
The following conditions apply:
1. You are responsible for the repair of any damage to the instrument
during the time that the instrument is in your care.
2. You will return the instrument in the same condition that it was
given to you.
3. You are responsible for the proper care of the instrument.
4. The instrument must be returned at any time requested.
Student Signature: ____________________________
Date: __________
Parent Signature: _____________________________
Date: __________
YOSA!MÁS!Instrument!Take!Home!Contract!
!Page 2 of 4!
Current as of 2/11/2014
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!
Instrument Condition
Cello
YOSA!MÁS!Instrument!Take!Home!Contract!
!Page 3 of 4!
Current as of 2/11/2014
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!
Instrument Condition
Violin
YOSA!MÁS!Instrument!Take!Home!Contract!
!Page 4 of 4!
Current as of 2/11/2014
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Appendix K
IRB Letter
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
Appendix L
Proposal for Researching Human Subjects
Rationale
Statement of the Problem
For students to continue to have access to arts education, the programs that
provide them must primarily be self-sustainable. The purpose of this study is to gain an
understanding of what measures are being taken to sustain and develop the Music
Learning Center of San Antonio and to what extent the ideals and practices of El Sistema
are being used.
State of Present Knowledge
We are still learning about the effects of El Sistema based youth orchestras as
more and more programs are built using their model. This program uses the notion that
the orchestra can be used as a model for community and as a tool for community
building. Information about this program is continuing to emerge as it gains popularity in
the U.S. This study will contribute to that body of emerging knowledge.
Aims of the Proposed Study
My hope for this study is to gain an insight into how and why these programs
work. I believe that these programs and others like it provide valuable experiences and
exposures for the children that engage in them. This study may show what those
experiences and exposures mean for the children and families who engage in arts-based
programs. Why do these organizations succeed or fail? How is the MLC of San Antonio
different or the same from other programs similar to it? It is important to understand why
and how these programs work in order to ensure their future success.
Subjects
Specific Population
Those interviewed in this study will be primarily from the west side of San
Antonio, Texas. Predominantly Hispanic, the overall educational level is low in
comparison to other areas of the city. Low levels of education contribute to low income
earning for the residents, resulting in an average per capita income in this part of the city
of $14,000 annually. Due to the poverty of the area, crime rates are high.
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Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria
All participants will be the parents, children, teachers, and administrators who are
a part of the Music Learning Center of San Antonio, Texas. Included in this study will be
San Antonio city officials who may be interested in the affects that programs such as the
MLC may have on the population.
Recruiting
All participants will be recruited via a letter/consent form sent out to students and
parents prior to my arrival. The letter/consent form will be distributed at the end of a
class period. The sample of the letter is included at the end of this submission.
Procedures:
Observations
I will observe students learning to play musical instruments, as well as any other
events that may occur during the course of my study, including board meetings and
recitals. These observations will add to the validity of the interviews and text-based
research that will be conducted in this study. Before each observation, my presence will
be announced both in advance of the observation and just before the start of each class.
There is negligible risk associated with these class observations.
Interviews
The interviews will be open-ended in order to allow themes to emerge over the
course of the investigation. Those interviewed will be recruited using the recruiting
procedures stated in the previous section. All interviewees will be recorded using a
digital voice recorder. All participants will be assigned a code name, given by the
researcher in order to protect each participant’s privacy and identity. There is some risk
of exposure for all participants; however due to the precautions that will be taken in order
to protect the privacy of the digital recordings, there is negligible risk for the participants.
All digital recordings will be kept on my own personal computer in a separate hard drive
and under a file accessible only by the researcher. All participants will be indentified by
number or pseudonym. There will be no compensation for any participants.
Sample questions for the interviews are:
 For students:
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
o What is it like going to music class?
o Can you describe your favorite things about music class?
o Do you have any suggestions of how music class could help you more?
 For parents:
o Do you believe your child benefits from music class? If so, how?
o Can you describe how teachers or administrators have helped your child?
o Has you child changed because of attending music class? If so, how?
o What have you learned about the arts and participation in the arts?
 For administration/teachers/city officials:
o What lessons have been learned since beginning this program?
o What do you see as the future of this program?
o What do you think is going well since the beginning of this program?
Adverse events and liability
There are no risks associated with this study beyond what the participants may
encounter in daily life. No specific liability plan is included in this research proposal.
Consent Form
Consent forms will be provided to parents and teachers in order to better
understand the scope and reasoning behind the study. The form will be provided in both
English and Spanish so that all who wish to participate may understand the reasoning and
procedures behind the study. Please see attachments in order to view a sample of the
consent form.
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Attachments
Parent Consent Form
Example (English)
Thank you for your interest in my research project. This form describes the project and
what will be asked of you today. Please read over it carefully and let me know if you
have any questions or concerns.
What is the purpose of my research?
I am interested in what you think about the Music Learning Center in which you and your
child participate.
What will be asked of me today?
To begin I will ask you and your child a series of questions all related to the Music
Learning Center. These questions and your answers will be recorded digitally. A digital
recording of our talk will allow me to analyze the answers at a later date.
Are there any risks to participating?
I do not expect you to encounter any risks other than those experienced in everyday life
while engaging in this interview.
Will my privacy be protected?
Yes! Your privacy is important to me. Your information will be kept in a secure file and
only Aurelia Rocha or her Committee Chair, Dr. Bruce Wood, will have access to this
information. I will give you a unique number and a false name by which your interview
answers will be identified and catalogued. Your name and information will not be
publically shared. I will never publically share the digital recordings that we will make
today. In any report I may publish, I will not report individual responses, only overall
responses for the group. All recordings will be destroyed five years after this study is
complete.
Is this research voluntary and how long will it take?
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
Yes! Your participation in this research will take about 15 minutes and is completely
voluntary. You can decide right now that you do not wish to participate and that is okay.
You can stop at anytime once we begin. You may skip any questions that you do not feel
comfortable answering. If you child seems uncomfortable with any question we will stop
the interview. If you feel that your child feels uncomfortable with a task, you can me to
stop. Whether or not you participate will not affect you or your child’s relationship with
the Music Learning Center.
Will I receive any compensation for participating?
I would like to thank you for your time, but unfortunately I am unable to provide any
compensation for you and your child’s participation in my study.
Can I find out the results of this study?
Once I complete the data collection and analysis for my study I will send you an update
with my overall findings. Please note that this may take up to six months to one year.
Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns?
My name is Aurelia G. Rocha, and I am the researcher conducting this study. I may be
contacted via email at [email protected] or by phone at 210.835.6306. For questions
about your child’s rights as a subject or about injuries caused by this research, contact
Texas Tech University Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects,
Office of the President for Research, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409. Or
you can call, 806.742.3905.
Print NAME:
_____________________________________
Signature of Parent or Guardian:
_____________________________________
Name of Child:
_____________________________________
Date:
_____________________________________
This consent form is not valid after December 31, 2011
(Please remember, even if you say “Yes,” now, you can change your mind later.)
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Example (Spanish)
Formulario De Consentimiento
¡Muchas gracias por su interés en mi proyecto de investigación! El formulario a
continuación describe el proyecto y el tipo de preguntas que estaré haciendole. Por favor
léalo detenidamente y si tiene preguntas o dudas sobre algo no dude en hacérmelo saber.
¿Cuál es el motivo de ésta investigación? – Motivo de la investigación
Mi interés es saber su opinión sobre el Centro de Aprendizaje Musical (Music Learning
Centre) en dónde usted y su hijo/a participan.
¿Qué tipo de preguntas se estarán haciendo? –Tipo de preguntas
Estaré haciendole a usted y a su hijo/a una serie de preguntas con respecto al Centro de
Aprendizaje Musical. Las preguntas y sus respuestas serán grabadas digitalmente. La
grabación de nuestra conversación me permitirá analizar las respuestas al final de todas
las entrevistas.
¿Hay algún riesgo en participar? -Posibles riesgos
No espero encontrar ningún riesgo durante las entrevistas aparte de aquellos que se
experimentan en la vida normal diaria.
¿Se mantendrá mi privacidad? –Confidencialidad
¡Absolutamente! Su privacidad es muy importante para mi. Su información será
conservada en un archivo confidencial al cual solo yo, Aurelia Rocha y el presidente de
mi comité, Dr. Bruce Wood tendrán acceso. A cada entrevista le asignaré un número
específico y un nombre ficticio con el cual serán catalogados. Su nombre e información,
y las grabaciones hechas durante la entrevista no serán revelados públicamente bajo
ninguna circunstancia. En cualquier reporte que yo publique en el futuro, no he de usar
respuestas individuals sino solamente respuestas promedio del grupo entrevistado. Todas
las grabaciones serán destruidas cinco años después que el proyecto haya sido finalizado.
¿Es voluntario participar en este proyecto? ¿Cuánto dura la entrevista? -Participación y
duración
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
La participación en este proyecto de investigación es totalmente voluntaria y tomará
aproximadamente 15 minutos. Usted tiene la complete libertad de decidir participar o no.
Si decide participar, puede cambiar de opinión en cualquier momento y retirarse de la
entrevista. Si hay alguna pregunta que le hace sentir incómodo, ésta pregunta puede
obviarse. Si su hijo/a se siente incómodo/a con cualquier pregunta la entrevista será
cancelada inmediatamente. Si usted observa que su hijo/a se siente incómodo/a con
cualquier actividad requerida, usted puede pedir que esta actividad no se lleve a cabo. Su
decisión en participar o no en este proyecto no afectará la atención que el Centro de
Aprendizaje Musical le brinda.
¿Recibiré alguna compensación por mi participación? –Compensación
Desafortunadamente no puedo compensar monetariamente su participación o la de su
hijo/a en este estudio mas que mi profunda gratitud por su ayuda y valioso tiempo.
¿Tendré acceso a los resultados de este estudio? –Acceso a los resultados
Una vez que haya completado la recopilación de datos y realizado el análisis de mi studio
le enviaré una copia con mis resultados y conclusiones. Por favor tenga en cuenta que
llegar a los resultados y conclusiones puede llevar de seis meses a un año.
¿A quién debo contactar si tengo preguntas o dudas? –Derechos como participante
Como la encargada de este proyecto, si usted tiene preguntas o dudas puede contactarme
a través de mi email, [email protected], o por teléfono al siguiente número:
210-835-6306. Si tiene preguntas sobre los derechos de su hijo/a o sobre daños causados
por este proyecto puede contactar la oficina de Texas Tech University Institutional
Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects, Office of the President for
Research, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409. O puede llamar al número
806-742-3905.
Nombre (en letra de molde):
Firma del padre o encargado:
Nombre del niño/a:
Fecha:
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
Este formulario de consentimiento no es válido despues del 31 de diciembre del 2011
(Por favor recuerde, usted puede cambiar de opinión en cualquier momento y retirarse de
la entrevista)
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
Appendix M
YOSA MÁS Recruiting Letter
!
An Invitation for Parents and Students!
YOSA MÁS: Music After School is offering beginning violin, viola and cello
instruction to interested students beginning Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at the
Edgewood Fine Arts Academy.
YOSA MÁS is free to interested students.
! Open registration begins August 26 through September 13.
o You must turn in the registration form to your music teacher at school.
! YOSA MÁS will be held Tuesdays through Thursdays beginning September
17, 2013 tentatively from 4:00 until 6:15 p.m. and continues throughout the
school year.
o Buses will be provided to bring students to YOSA MÁS at the Edgewood
Fine Arts Academy
o Parents are expected to pick up their child after classes at the Edgewood
Fine Arts Academy each school day by 6:30 p.m.
o Students will be provided with instruments to use while in YOSA MÁS.
o Teacher recommendation is required.
! The Edgewood Fine Arts Academy is located at 607 SW 34th St.
Mission
The mission of Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, the premier orchestral experience for
youth citywide, is to enhance education, enrich the community, and transform lives by
pursuing excellence in classical music in a stimulating, nurturing, and fun environment
that is equally accessible to all youth.
Profile
YOSA traces its roots to San Antonio’s first community-wide youth orchestra, created by
the San Antonio Independent School District in 1949. This season, more than 1,500
young people will benefit from the YOSA experience, representing 115 schools
throughout Bexar County and its surrounding communities.
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Texas Tech University, Aurelia Gregoria Rocha, December 2016
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