Aesthetics of Generosity: El Sistema, Music Education, and Social Change

"Those who know him, know of his eloquence – which translates well to the page... a valuable and inspirational book."  
-The Ensemble

In 1975, José Antonio Abreu, a Venezuelan economist and musician, founded El Sistema, a revolutionary music education and social action project that has changed the lives of thousands of his country’s youth. In 2009, Maestro Abreu was awarded the TED Prize and was granted a wish: to identify “gifted young musicians, passionate about their art and social justice,” who would take his vision to the world. Upon his recommendation, the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston founded the Sistema Fellows program.

In his book, “Aesthetics of Generosity: El Sistema, Music Education, and Social Change,” author and 2012 Sistema Fellow Jose Luis Hernandez-Estrada, shares his journey into the heart of El Sistema as he uncovers how music can change lives. For this book, Jose Luis draws from his experiences as an artist-in-residence in over a dozen núcleos or learning centers throughout Venezuela.

In thirty-two “beautifully written vignettes,” Jose Luis captures aspects of El Sistema’s history, philosophy, and practice. Filled with heartwarming stories, personal reflections, and observations, the book seeks to provide a perspective to the building of a “new era in the teaching of music, in which social, communal, spiritual, and vindicatory aims become a beacon and a goal for a vast social mission.”

Jose Luis is a classical conductor, educator, and speaker who believes in music and the arts as powerful agents for social transformation. He earned music degrees from Texas Christian University and the University of Texas Pan-American. He performs and teaches around the world. For more info on the author visit his website at

5" x 8" (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on White paper
188 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1480227187
ISBN-10: 1480227188
BISAC: Music / Instruction & Study / General

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