Skip to main content

Invitation to join El Sistema Academy in Stockholm January 31 - February 2, 2020!

Nyhet   •   Sep 30, 2019 08:04 CEST

2020 marks the ten year anniversary for El Sistema in Sweden. It will be celebrated throughout the year and starts with El Sistema Academy. We invite you to join us for the three day conference!

ESA2020 will, as usual, take place at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, which during the weekend will be transformed into an international platform. About 100 music teachers meet up to learn more about and to get inspired by the teaching method from Venezuela. ESA2020 hosts workshops and talks by first-rate selected pedagogues and lecturers from the whole world and allows for meetings and exchanging of experiences and knowledge of El Sistema as an educational approach. Here below is a compilation of a preliminary schedule and a description of the lectures, seminars, and workshops that make up ESA2020. More speakers will be added.

Practical information is stated on the last page, where you may find the sign up form. Application deadline is December 20, 2019.


Preliminary Schedule

Friday January 31

Noon-1 PM:


1-2 PM:

Introduction panel:

Helena Wessman, Vice-Chancellor of the Royal College of Music in Stockholm

Eric Sjöström, Chairman of the Board and Director of El Sistema Sweden

Eric Booth, Teaching Artist and Author

Sascha Goetzel, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra

Eva Sæther, Professor in Music Education at the University of Lund

Gerald Wirth, President and Artistic Director of the Vienna Boys Choir


2.30- 4 PM:

Ron Davis Alvarez - The Core of El Sistema: Level I

Eric Booth - Powerful Music for Social Change

Teresa Hedborg - White Hands: Children Choir Methods

Eva Nivbrant Wedin - Eurythmics: Directions for Movement: Workshop I

4.15-5.15 PM:

Ron Davis Alvarez - The Core of El Sistema: Level II

Patricia Abdelnour - How El Sistema Connects to Other Organizations

Gerald Wirth - Choir for Children: Workshop I

Eva Nivbrant Wedin - Eurythmics: Directions for Movement

From 6 PM:

Dinner together at the Royal College of Music

Saturday February 1

9.30-10.30 AM:

Eric Booth and Ron Davis Alvarez - Teaching Practices That Work (lecture for all)

11-12.30 AM:

Eva Saether - El Sistema as a Game Changer in the School and Society Sascha Goetzel - Basic Conducting Skills for Music Teachers: Level I

Franka Verhagen - Introduction to Music Didactics in Children Orchestras: Level I


1.30-3.30 PM and 4-6 PM:

Sascha Goetzel - Basic Conducting Skills for Music Teacher: Level II

Gerald Wirth - Choir for Children: Workshop II and III

1.30-3.30 PM:

Franka Verhagen - Introduction to Music Didactics in Children Orchestra: Level II

Petra Kloo Vik and Karina Svensson - Concert Halls and Education Projects And after in the same place Anette Wikenmo - How to Include All Children

Patricia Abdelnour - How El Sistema Connects to Other Organizations

Tormod Tveite Vik - Music Arrangements for Children

4-6 PM:

Michal Stasiak and Katarina Stener Wejfalk - Teaching Brass to Children

From 6 PM:

Dinner together at the Royal College of Music

Sunday, February 2

9.30-11 AM:

Lucia Goenaga and Sara Tufvesson - Meditation to Recharge the Brain

Michal Stasiak and Katarina Stener Wejfalk - Teaching Brass to Children

Ron Davis Alvarez and Franka Verhagen - Musical Didactics and Incorporating Music Training in the Activity of the Orchestra

11.15- noon:

Panel discussion

Invited Speakers and Seminars/Workshops

Patricia Abdelnour is an executive with over 15 years experience in production, management and cultural public policy, with special expertise in symphonic, world and Latin American music. She was the Deputy Director of International Relations for Fundamusical, coordinated all the international activities of El Sistema’s Academic Council and is a current member of the Advisory Board for the creation of the El Sistema University project. She will give two workshops during ESA 2020 on how El Sistema projects connect to other academic cultural and diplomatic organizations in the world in long term ways.

Eric Booth (US) is a Teaching Artist and an author. Recent books include Playing for Their Lives: The Global El Sistema Movement for Social Change Through Music and Tending the Perennials: The Art and Spirit of a Personal Religion. He has been on the faculty of Juilliard, Tanglewood, Lincoln Center Education, to name a few. Booth is a consultant for many arts organizations, including seven of the ten largest U.S. orchestras, and as an advisor to El Sistema programs around the world. His two interconnected workshops will explore the fundamentals of powerful music for social change and how to practically apply these ideas.

Ron Davis Alvarez is specialized in training teachers for children and youth orchestras. He lectures at conferences, master classes and workshops with an emphasis on musical language, rhythm and harmony, with teachers from all over the world. Besides being a violinist, he is also a conductor and has been the Artistic Director of El Sistema Sweden since 2016. For ESA2020 Davis Alvarez will speak about teaching practises and how to find the ones that actually work and give a demonstration of what the core of El Sistema arguably is.

Lucia Goenaga and Sara Tufvesson (Sweden) are both teachers from El Sistema in Malmö. As teachers they often meet children that live under tremendous pressure; school, parents and even music teachers. To be under stress during a longer period of time may result in difficulties taking in information in a calm and focused way. Goenaga and Tufvesson invite participants to a workshop on meditation and breathing exercises in order to recharge the brain! For 60 minutes, the group will meditate together, then play games, and discuss the thoughts that may arise.

Sascha Goetzel (Austria) has since 2008 been the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra. During his time achieved high artistic standards and international recognition for the orchestra, which led to performing at the Salzburg Festival (2010), a debut on BBC Proms (2014) and a European tour (2017). Goetzel also had the music directorship of the Kuopio Symphony in Finland, where he still is a regular guest with the orchestra and was the artistic director of Music for Peace Foundation in Istanbul.

Teresa Hedborg is a music educator from El Sistema in Gothenburg. Her workshops during ESA 2020 involve both choirs, orchestras and children. In “White Hands” she teaches a choir method where children get to illustrate songs with their hands in white gloves. The second workshop deals with how to build orchestras with the youngest children. It is based on the work of some preschools in the Gothenburg suburb Hammarkullen where children ages 4-6 are a part of two orchestras. The third workshop ties the previous two subjects together.

Petra Kloo Vik is Head of the Educational Department at the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Karina Svensson is a project manager at Konserthuset Stockholm and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Together they are giving a workshop about El Sistema and its presence in concert halls. In Sweden, El Sistema schools work closely together with professional musicians from the largest concert halls in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. As this is usually not the case in other countries, Kloo Vik and Svensson will go through what can be beneficial in and learnt from these types of collaborations.

Eva Nivbrant Wedin is a teacher in eurythmics, music and psychology, and is a Senior Lecturer at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Her workshops are about how music affects the body and how the body affects music. This natural connection between music and movement can be used as an effective pedagogical tool. In Dalcroze eurhythmics, movement is used in two directions: to learn and understand music, and to show and express music. During the workshop the participants will be given the chance to try different activities that could be a part of an instrumental class.

Michal Stasiak and Katarina Stener Wejfalk from El Sistema in Malmö will share their experiences as brass and eurythmic teachers. Together they will host a workshop on how to teach brass to children ages 9-10 and how to do it in a fun and playful way. In the light of the work they do in El Sistema Malmö, the participants will be guided through a brass lesson. Brought instruments are welcome and the workshop will be wrapped up in a collection of songs and brass notes.

Eva Sæther (Sweden) is Professor of Music Education with Educational Sciences as her profile at Lund University and she is also Associate Professor at the University of the Arts Helsinki. She has developed a research profile that focuses on intercultural perspectives on musical learning and creativity(ies). She teaches educational sciences at the music teacher education program. At ESA 2020 she will give workshops where the groups explore El Sistema as a game changer in school and society and what implications that would have of democratic claims for researchers, music teachers, pupils and institutions.

Tormod Tvete Vik is a Norwegian composer & arranger based in Gothenburg, Sweden.In 2019 he composed the music for the new Swedish animation movie "Pelle No Tail/Pelle Svanslös" produced by the biggest production company in Sweden (SF Production). Tormod has also composed music for documentaries and shorts and worked as an Orchestrator for TV-series and successful Nordic feature films like «A man called Ove», Birkebeinerne/The Last King 2016, to name a few. Besides composing for film, Tormod is a successful composer of concert music with published works for choir, strings, wind band & orchestra. His workshop at ESA2020 will deal with how to make arrangements specifically for children.

Franka Verhagen (Venezuela/Netherlands) is the founder of the academic and professional Training Program for teachers and conductors at El Sistema Venezuela. She updates human resources in El Sistema in terms of pedagogy, orchestral / choral direction and composition. Since 2010 she has also been in charge of the management of workshops within the organization. During ESA 2020 Franka Verhagen will give three workshops on musical didactics and how to incorporate music training in the activity of the orchestra.

Anette Wikenmo is a music teacher and Lecturer in Eurhythmics based in Malmö, Sweden. She works in the cultural school in the city where her main assignment is to be a pedagogical developer. She will have a talk on how to work more inclusive and to find ways and methods to incorporate the needs of as many children as possible.

Gerald Wirth (Austria) is the President and Artistic Director of the Vienna Boys Choir and has conducted choirs and orchestras all over the world. He has written three children’s operas, several large oratorios, masses, motets, and songs. “Carmina austriaca”, his most recent large-scale work. Wirth has worked with El Sistema programs internationally. Over the years he developed his own method of music pedagogy. It combines classical music theory, consciousness for sound, training in listening, rhythm training and singing with a holistic approach; experiences that he will share during ESA 2020.

Signup Information

Fill out this form to sign up for El Sistema Academy 31 January- 2 February, 2020:

El Sistema Academy Signup

Last day to signup is December 20, 2019.


Conference Fee

3.550 SEK (25% VAT not included)

Cost to add meal package (Includes two dinners, one lunch and coffee/tea)

1.150 SEK


The Royal College of Music/Kungl. Musikhögskolan

Valhallavägen 105

115 51 Stockholm


Musikhögskolan is on the metro stop Stadion on the red line. The nearest bus stop is Musikhögskolan, bus lines 4 and 72.

Check how to plan your trip here:

Taxi Stockholm +468-15 00 00

Taxi Kurir +468-30 00 00

Or Uber through AppStore or Google Play


Hostel - Vandrarhem Vasastan (Lilla Brunn), Surbrunnsgatan 44, (new website launching very soon)

  • Single room: 625 SEK/night
  • Double room: 975 SEK/night
  • The prices include sheets and cleaning
  • Breakfast can be added
  • To book, send and e-mail to, and use the code "Brunn01"

Scandic Park Hotel, Karlavägen 43

  • 1150 SEK/night for single use
  • 1250 SEK/night for double use
  • The prices include breakfast
  • To book, visit, and use the code "BELS280120". Or, call +468 517 517 00 and use the same code.

For additional information email

Supported by the Royal College of Music Stockholm, SEB and Signatur.

Bifogade filer


Kommentarer (0)

Lägg till kommentar


Genom att skicka din kommentar accepterar du att dina personuppgifter behandlas i enlighet med Mynewsdesks Integritetspolicy.