Programs

What is El Sistema Oklahoma?

El Sistema Oklahoma has grown rapidly into a well-respected, successful and unique after-school program serving over 200 underserved and disadvantaged public school children in the heart of Oklahoma City. El Sistema Oklahoma is a non-profit 501(c)3 founded by Cathy and Phil Busey, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, and the Wanda Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University through a creative partnership.

While our students receive instruction from top-notch music teachers five days a week during the school year, El Sistema Oklahoma is about more than music education. We believe musicianship is one tool to help children grow as responsible citizens and community members. The children who participate in El Sistema Oklahoma receive a world-class musical education with lessons that extend beyond the practice room and into the real world. Research is beginning to show what our teachers and staff strongly believe: what children learn at El Sistema Oklahoma will have a meaningful and profound impact in their daily lives and on our community in the years to come. We take great pride and joy in working with our children.

Currently, El Sistema Oklahoma serves 220 children in third through ninth grades. 

Who can enroll in El Sistema Oklahoma?

**Enrollment is currently full for 2016-2017**

El Sistema Oklahoma is always accepting enrollment inquiries, but official enrollment is by invitation only through our service site schools. Priority enrollment is given to children with their principal’s recommendation from our current service sites at the following Oklahoma City Public elementary schools: Linwood, Gatewood, Putnam Heights, Sequoyah, Cleveland, Kaiser and Edgemere.

Children should meet the following criteria to participate in El Sistema Oklahoma:

  • Must be in grades 3, 4, 5, 6 for the 2016-2017 school year
  • Needs an opportunity to engage in something positive that will result in motivation and recognition
  • May benefit from a sense of focus, discipline and joy
  • A family or caretaker, when given the opportunity to do something extraordinary for their child, will take this leap of faith with us

Students do not need any prior musical experience to be considered for El Sistema Oklahoma. All instruction will begin at the beginner level.

When does El Sistema Oklahoma meet?

El Sistema Oklahoma meets according to the Oklahoma City Public Schools’ calendar. The program will take place immediately after school until 6:00pm, Monday through Friday. El Sistema Oklahoma students are expected to attend the program, in its entirety, every day.

Additionally, OKCPS school bus transportation will be provided from our service sites to the El Sistema Oklahoma site at Trinity Baptist Church located at 1329 NW 23rd street. All parents are responsible for picking their child up from the El Sistema Oklahoma site by 6:00pm each day.

What if I have questions about El Sistema Oklahoma?

Please contact Robyn Hilger, our Executive Director, for more information by email at robyn@elsistemaok.org.