Who We Are
Alameda Music Project (AMP) is an El Sistema inspired after school music education program serving the social, emotional, cultural and academic needs of children. The program operates 4 days per week, providing on-site music instruction to over 100 children at a Title 1 arts integrated magnet school in the socioeconomically challenged West End of Alameda.
All students participating in AMP receive tuition-free music instruction for at least 2 hours a week plus all necessary musical supplies (instruments, song books, etc), a nutritious snack and homework assistance. We provide children with musical instruction and performance experiences in a collaborative, orchestral environment that helps build confidence, compassion and teamwork. Children learn the importance of collaboration and cooperation in and outside the ensemble; they learn how to become one voice, and through their shared experience, grow stronger as individuals and as a community.
“I believe I can share my voice in public because of you.” — Paloma, Choir student
The 2015/16 Season is Here!
Our second season has begun! This year we have expanded the program to include more children and more opportunities to play music. We added a second day of rehearsal for our percussion ensemble, added new instrumentation to our orchestra and we now have 2 choir ensembles. The junior ensemble is comprised of first and second graders, introducing them to music and singing in a fun and playful way, at their pace while the senior choir for grades 3-5 allows for more complex arrangements and harmonies. In the strings department, we've added a new class for second year violinists and introduced cello to the program.
The Paper Violin Project
One of the most important components of our beginner violin class is the Paper Violin Project. It is quickly becoming a popular right of passage for our young orchestra. Creating a paper instrument is a great way to build community within our orchestra. It's one of their first collaborative efforts. They share design ideas and help each other during the assembly process. It also only helps our young violinists learn the parts of the violin and proper posture. Most importantly but also how to care for, and respect their instrument. Afterall, these are fragile works of art they created!
Our violinists will use these violins for the first few weeks of the program and then "graduate" to their real instruments.
On September 26, 2015, Cal Performances hosted a seminario for Bay Area El Sistema based programs. Nine violin students from Alameda Music Project received a rare opportunity to participate in a side-by-side rehearsal with members of The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. This is the story of their day.
Check out Alameda Music Project students (along with Gustavo Dudamel) in this Cal Performances video for their inaugural project of Berkeley RADICAL!