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Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema, and the Transformative Power of Music Hardcover – January 23, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (January 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393078965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393078961
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #779,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Tunstall soundly probes how it is that classical music has played such a powerful role in the protection, education, and elevation of so many children born into poverty. The author does a noble job tracing the history of El Sistema, while managing to keep the narrative as much in the immediate present as possible.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Starred Review. This passionate and inspiring story should be read by all those interested in music education, community building, and advocacy for the disadvantaged. An essential purchase.” (Library Journal)

“A compelling, readable book that is part history and part social activism, [Tunstall] uses Dudamel's youthful exuberance and enthusiasm for music and these programs as an example of the way that music education can be a tool for social transformation.” (Publisher's Weekly)

About the Author

Tricia Tunstall is both a writer and a music educator. The author of Changing Lives and Note by Note: A Celebration of the Piano Lesson, she has written for the Kenyon Review and the New York Times. She lives in Maplewood, New Jersey.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This book is a great read and the message it carries is so authentic.
Gayel A. Pitchford
The news of El Sistema has drifted into the U.S. as a kind of dessert buffet--one amazingly sweet report after another.
Eric Miller
I loved the message and the power of music education in our children.
Kari

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eric Miller on January 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The news of El Sistema has drifted into the U.S. as a kind of dessert buffet--one amazingly sweet report after another. It has sounded too good to be true, and I hear many people respond that it is hyped or must be some new "flavor of the month." Changing Lives offers a full meal of El Sistema, so we can dine healthily on its history, its precepts and processes, its mysteries--it is full of factual protein, and a healthy serving of exotic fruits and substantive veggies. (Enough with the metaphor.) This book is a required reading for those who have some kind of interest in or opinion about El Sistema, so you can actually know what you are talking about. And you never had such a pleasurable required reading assignment--Tunstall writes beautifully, turning every part of the 35 year history into engaging stories full of vivid detail. The marvel of El Sistema seems even more marvelous after reading this beautiful book. And special thanks to the author for including the emergence of El Sistema in the U.S. in this history, giving us hope that the miracle from South America that redirected the lives of hundreds of thousands of at-risk kids can redirect the lives of kids in North America in the same way, and in the same expanding numbers. And this hope is already being realized. This was the most inspiring book I read in 2011. Like me, and thousands of others, you will believe that Jose Antonio Abreu deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, and that Dudamel is every bit as splendid as you thought.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeane Goforth on January 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent overview of El Sistema in Venezuela--at least based on what I've gleaned from articles read elsewhere. I especially appreciated the chapters on the founding and early history of the program. I am always looking for more details on operations and curriculum to consider for our Scrollworks program in Birmingham, Alabama. Ms. Tunstall has given us much to work with. The book is also very inspiring, which is why I intend to get copies for our board and some of our donors. I hope there is a follow-up in the future on the US programs she visited.
If you are starting an El Sistema program without benefit of an Abreu Fellow on staff or without the resources for an extended visit to Venezuela, this book will give you some ideas and some comfort. It's not easy. It only looks easy because Venezuela is 30+ years into it.
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By KPF on January 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Makes you want to go out and start an orchestra in very school in America. Reminds us of the real power of music - community.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had watched a couple years ago the story of El Sistema in a documentary and this book brings more of that journey to life. I loved the message and the power of music education in our children.
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By TM1223 on January 14, 2014
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I am retired, and I am also a volunteer violin teacher in an El Sistema like after school program in Chicago's inner city. While the US and not Venezuela, this book was nicely done, and helped me to understand how all this came to be.
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It is a well written story about El Sistema from it beguinings in Venezuela to the American developement.
As I am workin this system in México I know the impact it has on youngsters and in their families. The book has helped us to understand El Systema better and try it as it is.Results are astonnishing
Required reading for poéople in the Education field, from ple¿anners and director to front line teachers.
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By Ann Droste on December 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading Changing Lives, I began to learn about El Sistema here in Cleveland. I discovered three locations and have visited one of them - at the Rainey Institute. My chapter of Delta Omicron, International Music Fraternity, will be supporting this wonderful project with our donations. I have purchased two more copies of the book so that everyone in the chapter can read about El Sistema.
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This is an informative and inspiring journey throught the development of El Sistema in Venezuela and the power that learning to play music with others has to motivate young people to become creative and caring members of society.
Gustavo Dudamel, the charismatic conductor with focused love of young people, has completely changed the environment of classical music not only in Los Angeles but all over the world. Don't miss this positive development in the world. It's a great antidote to network news of today!
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