There is more than one way to tip an epidemic, in other words. Epidemics are a function of the people who transmit infectious agents, the infectious agent itself, and the environment in which the infectious agent is operating. And when an epidemic tips, when it is jolted out of equilibrium, it tips because something has happened. Some change has occurred in one (or 2 or 3) of those areas.
–The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
The El Sistema movement in the US may not have yet reached its tipping point, but its on the way. I know firsthand the energy surrounding this initiative and I’m happy to be in a place where I can now contribute my talents fully to the cause. I spent the entire year learning how to combine my interests into one beautiful machine: a program that uses choral music education to empower youth in Atlanta,GA. Fortunately, Atlanta already has a Sistema program that is a force to be reckoned with (the Atlanta Music Project), but what it doesn’t have is a full choir program. Enter Aisha. Can you feel it? Its on the way!
On May 19, 2012 at 11:00AM, I graduated from the Sistema Fellows Program at New England Conservatory. On May 20, 2012, I boarded a plane for Georgia, and the real journey began. In the last few weeks, I have strategized for hours on end and dreamt bigger than I had imagined possible. Why? Because all the right ingredients are in place. There is an infectious agent – music for social change programs, the people transmitting the infectious agent – myself along with the Atlanta Music Project, and the environment that the infectious agent is operating – a gem of a city, brimming with exceptional talent, high hopes and endless possibility.
We are ready to take Atlanta by storm.
In coming days, we will share with you our plan. It is a plan that will transform the city. It is a plan that is the culmination of 2 years of Sistema bliss, 11 years of hard work in music education and a lifetime of a love of music and a desire to share that with others. It will amplify the work already being done and provide new opportunities for musicians and children alike in Atlanta.