Bringing about CHANGE through music

Share the Warmth’s creative and flexible program engages 220 local children through music.

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.

In 2013, Share the Warmth adopted the El Sistema approach, a tested and internationally renowned orchestral program for young musicians. Created in Venezuela in 1975 by Dr. Jose-Antonio Abreu, El Sistema was developed to meet the needs of the country’s most underprivileged youth. The program has proven how music can drastically change the life trajectory of a country’s neediest children.

Share the Warmth’s music program has grown to reach 220 children principally from Point Saint-Charles and across the Southwest borough. Students register for either the weekly instrumental program or the more intensive program that runs four days a week. Please consult the table below for program descriptions.

Sistema schedule

Children describe their experience

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!

For more information on the music program, please contact us at (514) 933-5599 (ext. 231) or by email at

To apply for the 2019-2020 program, please click on the button below and fill out the form.