Did you know music can lift us out of poverty?

Marcus Young
by Marcus Young | Apr 03, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

Here is a surprising fact from a recent Star Tribune article:

▪ “Minnesota has some of the worst academic achievement gaps in the nation between white kids and students of color. For example, Minnesota has the nation's worst on-time graduation rates among Latinos and American Indians and is among the worst for black and Asian students.”

And here is a reality check from the Saint Paul Public Schools website:

▪ “Seventy-one percent of students are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, a common indicator of poverty. For 45%, English is not their home language.”

We have a holistic socio-economic, racial, and educational problem to solve in Saint Paul. We are a society with so many riches, but many of our fellow Saint Paulites are being left behind. This is a moral, spiritual, and ethical dilemma—a question of our humanity. A challenge of this depth and complexity requires a creative and soulful idea. It also needs a million-dollar idea!

It may be hard to believe, but in Venezuela their internationally recognized music education program has for three decades helped their families overcome poverty and adversity by first creating an affluence of the spirit. Their music system (called “El Sistema”) is proven effective.

With a million-dollar investment we want something that is doable and has a very good chance of success. This idea has already been tested, and the model is being replicated worldwide. Saint Paul can achieve this big goal—to “close the achievement-wealth-racial gap.” We aspire to give everyone a fair chance at the American dream and to create a more richly harmonious society. We can create a great, intensive after-school music program that pursues musical excellence and improves the lives of all of our children.

We know how great music makes us feel. Great music says to us: every human being has the right to live a life of dignity and beauty. Let's make great music together!

About You

read more ↓↑ hide↑ hide

About You

First Name

Marcus

Last Name

Young

City

Saint Paul

County

Ramsey

Country

United States, MN

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

City

Organization Country

United States

Your idea

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Title of your idea

Did you know music can lift us out of poverty?

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

Here is a surprising fact from a recent Star Tribune article:
▪ “Minnesota has some of the worst academic achievement gaps in the nation between white kids and students of color. For example, Minnesota has the nation's worst on-time graduation rates among Latinos and American Indians and is among the worst for black and Asian students.”
And here is a reality check from the Saint Paul Public Schools website:
▪ “Seventy-one percent of students are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, a common indicator of poverty. For 45%, English is not their home language.”
We have a holistic socio-economic, racial, and educational problem to solve in Saint Paul. We are a society with so many riches, but many of our fellow Saint Paulites are being left behind. This is a moral, spiritual, and ethical dilemma—a question of our humanity. A challenge of this depth and complexity requires a creative and soulful idea. It also needs a million-dollar idea!
It may be hard to believe, but in Venezuela their internationally recognized music education program has for three decades helped their families overcome poverty and adversity by first creating an affluence of the spirit. Their music system (called “El Sistema”) is proven effective.
With a million-dollar investment we want something that is doable and has a very good chance of success. This idea has already been tested, and the model is being replicated worldwide. Saint Paul can achieve this big goal—to “close the achievement-wealth-racial gap.” We aspire to give everyone a fair chance at the American dream and to create a more richly harmonious society. We can create a great, intensive after-school music program that pursues musical excellence and improves the lives of all of our children.
We know how great music makes us feel. Great music says to us: every human being has the right to live a life of dignity and beauty. Let's make great music together!

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

read more↑ hide↑ hide

What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

It may be hard to believe, but in Venezuela their internationally recognized music education program has for three decades helped their families overcome poverty and adversity by first creating an affluence of the spirit. Their music system (called “El Sistema”) is proven effective. A great example of their program’s success, the current music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic came out of Venezuela’s innovative program. You can watch a wonderful 60 Minutes segment about it online, or read about its success documented in newspapers and journals. Now, Venezuela is sharing their model of music education, and cities and countries all over the world are starting to build their own music education systems.

Impact

read more↑ hide↑ hide

This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

More than ever our society needs the discipline, work ethic, joy, beauty, and rewards that creating music brings, yet we know that schools cut arts programming because of lack of funding. Saint Paul has 40,000 kids in school. Giving these kids the best music education possible is an achievable big idea. We can create a great, intensive after-school music program that pursues musical excellence and improves the lives of all of our children.

Sustainability

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

The good news is that here in Saint Paul we have a lot of the ingredients to make our music education work for us in a way that is not yet realized. Our rich arts culture is an under-utilized resource, like a renewable energy waiting to be harvested. Many organizations could be brought together to work in concert. We have two of the best orchestras in the world. Our public radio ranks at the top. We have a rich and varied choral tradition, in churches, schools, and communities. All of these already serve our community in their own ways. This proposal is for organizations and institutions like these to come together to make deep social change through making great art accessible.

bhjhgj hgjjg said: Poverty is one of the common issues today. However, what is important is the support they need. - YORHealth about this Competition Entry. - 2629 days ago read more >

Marcus Young updated this Competition Entry. - 2851 days ago

Marcus Young submitted this idea. - 2851 days ago