SULAMOT– Music for Social Change – is an innovative and inspirational music education program for at-risk children. Sulamot focuses primarily on children with the least resources and greatest needs in peripheral areas and underprivileged communities. The program reaches children from many different backgrounds including immigrants from numerous countries, reflecting the diversity found in Israel. Sulamot was created as a joint program with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Tel Aviv University in October 2010.
Sulamot promotes music as a fundamental tool for the education of new generations and as a mean of social development. The program was inspired by “El Sistema”, the international award-winning project in Venezuela, funded by the government, wherein hundreds of thousands of children, mainly from poor socio-economic backgrounds, are taught by music teachers throughout the country.
Sulamot makes a three-year commitment to students, creating strong personal connections as well as providing consistency in the lives of children who might otherwise not have any. By establishing youth orchestras in underprivileged areas, where children have very little social or educational enrichment frameworks for after-school hours, Sulamot strives to help children and young people achieve and acquire values that favor their growth and have a positive impact on their lives in society.
Over the course of the program children are given intensive musical instruction, enabling them to gather and play in an orchestra within three months of picking up an instrument. Sulamot provides students with many opportunities and experiences, including:
• Musical instruments
• Weekly individual lessons and orchestra rehearsals
• Performing opportunities in concerts for the community
• Practice supervision system operated by IDF soldiers from the unit of outstanding musicians
• Musical education supervision by the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music Tel Aviv University
• Psychological guidance by the School of Social Work at the Tel Aviv University
Reaching the Blind and Visually Impaired
Through this program, 60 blind and visually impaired children across Israel have been taught to play musical instruments, each one succeeding beyond all expectations. These students have exceptional ears and are accustomed to overcoming challenges on a daily basis, making playing music both instinctive and pleasurable.
Initiated with humanitarian and moral objectives in mind, the program has since become so much more. All too often these children were left with no recreational activities due to their disability. Through Sulamot, an entirely new world has been opened -they spend hours learning and practicing. This hard work pays off during performances for amazed and inspired audiences.