EDITORIAL: Bravo to the Sistema NB program

Aboubacar Kaba, 11, started playing the drums in Sierra Leone. Now, he's getting professional training at Sistema New Brunswick.

Photo: Robert Williams/Telegraph-Journal

Anyone who's had a child become passionate about a musical instrument can tell you what a joy this art form can bring. Learning the craft takes hard work, persistence and teamwork, with rewarding results. Music is a gateway to the soul and, around the world, defines cultures and communities.
It's why musical education is so important, and also why there is such a great opportunity for music to create communities where everyone is welcome.
On these points, the Sistema program in New Brunswick keeps turning out hits. Over the last 10 years, it has gone from being an experiment in the international Sistema model to a truly provincial program and one of the largest in Canada.
It gives children the opportunity to learn music from skilled teachers with an emphasis on access. According to a feature article by the Telegraph-Journal last weekend, more than 90 per cent of the students enrolled in the Saint John program would not be able to afford music lessons otherwise.
It also is providing a great opportunity for immigrants, with 40 per cent of Sistema's teachers in Atlantic Canada coming from outside the country.
Sistema is giving children the gift of music, while also helping newcomers and low-income families. Bravo.