An El Sistema music education program


Crashendo! is an El Sistema-inspired music education program currently at Laverton P-12 College, Victoria. El Sistema was founded by economist and musician Jose Antonio Abreu forty years ago in Venezuela, offering musical training for young people as a vehicle for positive social change. It has been shown to have a positive effect on participants, both socially and economically. The Inter-American Development Bank established that for every dollar spent on the program, it yields $1.34 in social dividends. Crashendo! was established with the El Sistema principles at its core, to provide a music program for Australian children.


Crashendo! students attend classes after school each week for orchestra and choir rehearsals. Under the guidance of highly skilled teaching artists they develop technical proficiency, confidence, a strong sense of belonging and pride in achievement. Crashendo! is free of charge to ensure accessibility. For many students, Crashendo! is the only opportunity to learn a musical instrument and play in an ensemble. Music is a vital aspect of a child’s learning as it provides opportunities for students to pursue excellence and explore creativity, identity and self-expression. The positive effect of Crashendo! extends beyond the children to their parents and the wider school community. Crashendo! students also perform regularly at school and in the community.


Crashendo! has formed collaborations in the community including with Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School, The Song Room, Esther Lauretti’s Music School and Alex W Grant Violins. Students enjoy professional performances presented by Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne Recital Centre and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. These relationships provide a platform for knowledge transfer, raise awareness of our program in the community and inspire the kids to work even harder than they already do.

I like to play because it makes me feel good and passionate to be free and I can let go and be lost. The more time I spend at Crashendo the more I feel like I am part of a family. It feels like I progress so much. And become a better person and smarter by the day.

Crashendo! was established as a partnership between Laverton P-12 College, Hobsons Bay City Council and Victoria Police Hobsons Bay. Rehearsals take place at Laverton P-12 College.