Bringing about CHANGE through music

For more information about the program, please contact Sandrine at 514-933-5599 ext. 289 or by email: music@sharethewarmth.ca

Music has an impact on so many facets of a child’s development and cognitive functions, particularly the development of language and reading skills. Share the Warmth believes in the power of music to foster a child’s overall development and success. Our creative program welcomes over 200 neighbourhood children.

Children in action

About El Sistema

El Sistema is an approach that uses music as a tool for social change. Created in Venezuela by conductor, musician, and economist José Antonio Abreu, El Sistema promotes musical education and orchestral practice as an alternative to street gangs, crime and delinquency for young people living in barrios (Venezuela’s poorest neighbourhoods).

The story began in 1975 in a garage in Caracas with eight young musicians and conductor Abreu . . . 42 years later, the El Sistema model has been adopted throughout Venezuela and brings together over 780,000 young musicians (75% of whom live below the poverty line) in 1,600 orchestras. Every day after school, these musicians attend music classes, where they meet similar students, form friendships, and develop social skills. The basis of El Sistema revolves around the orchestra, which Abreu viewed as a mirror of society, and through participation in orchestras, students learn respect, tolerance, teamwork and the importance of helping one another.

Graduates of the El Sistema system include famous conductor Gustavo Dudamel, but ultimately the El Sistema approach teaches youth the skills to become successful members of society, regardless of the profession they choose to pursue.

El Sistema has spread to over 40 countries across the globe, and has even found its way to Point Saint-Charles!

Learn to play the guitar or keyboard in our fun weekly program:

  • 60-minute group lessons (groups of 3 to 6 students)
  • One to two (Grade 5 students and up) lessons per week.
  • Instruments provided.
  • Healthy snacks included.
  • Open to Grade 2 students and older.
  • The opportunity to play in two or more concerts per year.

El Sistema Inspired Program

In 2013, Share the Warmth adopted the El Sistema approach, a widely recognized international program developed in Venezuela in 1975 to meet the needs of the country’s most underprivileged youth. The program focuses on peer-to-peer teaching, group learning and participation in orchestral ensembles, while keeping music and musical education fun. The aim of our program is to build self-confidence, foster each child’s independence and creative spirit, encourage teamwork and respect, and help develop perseverance and social skills. It is above all a creative outlet through which young musicians can express themselves in the context of healthy community.

Learning to play an instrument and making new friends

Music classes at Share the Warmth are all taught in small groups. This model teaches participants to work together, to respect one another, to collaborate, to become more independent and to develop leadership skills. Friendships are also forged over a shared love of music and participants develop a strong sense of belonging to the program. Music, above all else, provides an outlet for creative expression, helping them better manage their emotions and stress.

The El Sistema inspired program at Share the Warmth:

  • After-school program: choice of one to three evenings per week (2 hours per day).
  • Instrument choice: violin, viola, cello, guitar, flute, clarinet.
  • The program includes: choir, instrument lessons, orchestra, and music theory.
  • Healthy snacks and instruments provided.
  • The opportunity to play in several concerts.
  • Cultural outings.


Music Weekly Program