Our Philosophy

In Ottawa, financial constraints, cultural differences, language barriers and physical challenges leave thousands of children without the opportunity to learn and benefit from music-making. The OrKidstra program brings the joys and challenges of making music together to children who would otherwise be left out.

With over 600 children from over 42 cultural and linguistic backgrounds, OrKidstra is far more than a music program—it is first and foremost a social development program, giving children a sense of belonging and achievement, and fostering life skills to help them fulfill their true potential.

By creating a musical pathway to empower children – teaching them to listen with their ears and their hearts – OrKidstra helps nurture balanced and responsible citizens, reduce youth alienation, and instill lifelong appreciation for the beauty and importance of music.

Our Sistema-inspired Philosophy:

  • Extensive and intensive community connections – Our children, teachers, families, schools and communities take ownership of and pride in the program
  • Intensity of playing and performance – Kid-powered, high commitment, passion before precision
  • The fundamental role of the ensemble – Teach children how to form a community out of very diverse parts
  • Peer-to-peer teaching structure – Our mentorship model breaks down barriers and fosters open communication and friendship;
  • Fun – Our teachers have clear expectations, but the joy and magic that permeates OrKidstra’s centre clearly reflects how much the children love being there.