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Since 2003 WXXI and the Al Sigl Community of Agencies have worked together to help break the ingrained stereotypes about individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities with its week-long initiative, Dialogue on Disability. The initiative is designed to stimulate community dialogue about the perspectives and abilities of people with physical and intellectual disabilities. For a listing of all special programs click here.In an effort to continue its commitment to motivate individuals to take action and to include more people with disabilities in the workplace, in schools, neighborhoods and in all aspects of society, WXXI has partnered with the Golisano Foundation in a year-round project called MOVE TO INCLUDE. Dialogue on Disability will continue to take place in January as part of this new project. Dialogue on Disability is a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies - in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series. Dialogue on Disability is supported by the Fred L. Emerson Foundation with additional support from The Golisano Foundation.On Classical 91.5 we celebrate the musicians who compose and perform no matter what challenges they face. Ludwig van Beethoven, Gabriel Faure and Ralph Vaughan Williams experienced hearing loss, as does percussionist Evelyn Glennie. Hand injuries have not stopped pianists Misha Dicter, Leon Fleisher and guitarist Milos Karadaglic. Vision loss, something many of us experience as we age, did not stand in the way of composers J. S. Bach, George Frederic Handel, Joaquin Rodrigo and Franz Schubert. And the often unseen depression and mental illness impacted composers Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst, Modest Mussorgsky, Irving Berlin and Charles Ives, among many others. The music created by all of these individuals and many more is enjoyed every day on Classical 91.5.

DoD: El Sistema music education emphasizes Music for All, no matter their ability


Many of us are familiar with El Sistema, the music-education program, founded in Venezuela in 1975 by Venezuelan educator, musician, and activist José Antonio Abreu. Since its founding, Venezuela’s National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs have used music education as a vehicle for social change. During Dialogue on Disability Week, we're taking a look at some special El Sistema programs in Venezuela and Tokyo that take the philosophy of "music for all" to a whole new level. 

Meet the students of the White Hands Chorus of Tokyo, an inclusive musical ensemble formed by children with various challenges, where each one of them has the opportunity to reach the highest artistic level and to exert positive changes to its society. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqpvpwF-oA0

Here the White Hands Choir of Venezuela had the privilege of performing at the Salzburg Festival in 2013, a concert that was, in 2014, released in the series "Festival Documents." 

Truly this is "Music for All."

El Sistema remained under the radar in much of the world until the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, began to tour internationally under the baton of the brilliant young conductor Gustavo Dudamel. El Sistema is an extraordinary cultural, educational, and social program that pursues the goals of social engagement and youth empowerment through ensemble music education. The unprecedented success of these programs have inspired hundreds of similar programs which serve an estimated one million children in at least sixty countries around the world.

Credit https://www.rocmusic.org/
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Here in Rochester, ROCmusic, an El Sistema inspired program, leverages the collective resources of Rochester’s major cultural organizations, educational institutions and governmental agencies to provide exceptional music education and performance experiences for youth living in the City of Rochester. Through year-long community-based programming and resident-informed activities, ROCmusic offers three programs that students will be placed in based on their experience and interests in music.