El Sistema Strings Instrument Students

El Sistema Somerville After School Music Program

Read the October, 2020 El Sistema Somerville Newsletter

2020-2021 Registration

Registration for new students currently open!

Read the English or Spanish El Sistema Flyer to learn more.

You may El Sistema download and fill in the Registration forms listed below.

Please send all registration forms via email to:

No registration forms via standard mail will be able to be accepted due to the school closure

Apply for a Scholarship   

To apply for scholarship, please provide the following documentation along with the registration form:

  1. Proof of income for one month (make photocopies of pay stubs from all parents/guardians or provide a notarized letter if paid in cash)
  2. First two pages of your 2019 tax return
  3. Photo ID of all parents/guardians in the household
  4. Birth certificate for every child in the household

For questions regarding registration for El Sistema Somerville, please contact:

El Sistema Somerville
East Somerville Community School
50 Cross St
Somerville, MA 02145
617-625-6600 ext. 3716
(2019 - 2020 Registration forms for the current school year in English and Spanish.)


Evan Perry: Director
Claudia Iraheta-Serna: Administrative Assistant
Violin Teaching Artists: Hsuan (Jennifer) Wang and Jesus Saenz
Viola Teaching Artist: Lu Yu
Cello Teaching Artists: Thomas Rodman and Thomas Barth
Bass Teaching Artist: Darren Sacks
String Teaching Artist: Christopher Hernandez
Woodwind Teaching Artists: Marta Siemieniaka and Diego Tunjano
Brass Teaching Artist: William Zimmer
Homework Teachers: Veronica Olivier and Rodolpho Galvez

What is El Sistema?

El Sistema Somerville is a daily afterschool music program that provides ensemble-based music instruction to SPS elementary and middle grades students, grades 3–8. The program offers intensive study on strings, winds and brass instruments through orchestral rehearsals, sectionals, musicianship and technique classes, chamber music, and private lessons. Students play violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, and trombone. Students also receive a daily nutritious snack, academic support, recess time, cultural enrichment activities, field trips, and frequent opportunities to perform for the community. The program meets Mondays-Fridays from 2:30-5:30 p.m. at the East Somerville Community School. Thanks to the Massachusetts Cultural Council for their generous support of the El Sistema Somerville program.

Mission Statement

At El Sistema Somerville, it is our mission to empower all students to become confident, engaged learners through rigorous, daily instruction in music ensembles and to provide the community with equitable access to musical excellence.

Five Core Values

Teamwork: In music ensembles, all musicians maintain the same goal - to make beautiful music as a team.

Commitment: Students will strive towards and achieve success by participating and engaging fully in all ensembles and persevering even when things get tough. 

Respect: Students will demonstrate care and appreciation for their peers, teachers, instruments and materials.

Communication: Students will develop their ability to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas in a calm and confident manner.

Empathy: Students will enhance their capabilities of being sensitive to how their actions can affect others, celebrating with others during joyful times or comforting others during challenging times.

Program Objectives

  • Provide Access to Music Education
  • Empower Students through Music Performances
  • Support Character Development and Social Skills Building
  • Develop Community Engagement
  • Nurture the Whole Child

El Sistema roots

Venezuela's national youth orchestra program, known as El Sistema, inspired our program. Founded in 1975 by Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu, an economist and composer, El Sistema is recognized around the globe for providing intense, rigorous musical education that positively alters the life trajectories of many underserved students. Watch Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu explain equitable access to high-quality music education in his Ted Talk.