Academy of Music and Arts

The Academy of Music and Arts—inspired by Venezuela’s ground-breaking El Sistema—is an intensive after-school program for young people wishing to develop their musical talent. This 38-week program is inclusive of intensive ensemble training on instruments, basic music skills, and social development, enabling every child to contribute in the ensemble, at school, at home, and within society to their absolute highest potential.

The first phase of the Academy, Team Mozart (K-2nd Grade), will feature the creation of a “paper orchestra.” Students, families, community members and volunteers collectively build paper instruments, and students learn how to care for them before receiving real instruments. As they become comfortable with their instruments, students are introduced to basic musicianship skills: singing, posture, performance, and movement. Within one month, students are able and expected to sing their paper orchestra songs for audiences at any moment, showing the product of their hard work to patrons. Through this innovative approach, students are able to bolster their abilities and self-confidence, gain respect for their instruments and peers, take ownership of their education, and develop a sense of community.

Through our partnership with The Salvation Army of Greater Winston-Salem, other class offerings are also available for students 10 – 18 years old in Brass, Violin, Piano, Percussion and Guitar.

The Academy of Music and Arts guides its core curriculum and lesson planning around the National Core Arts Standards for Music.

The program is currently available at two Winston-Salem locations—The Salvation Army’s Washington Park Corps and Old Town Elementary School.

Interested in the Academy?

jmd-miosmContact the Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement Director, Jessica Munch-Dittmar, by email at or by phone at (336) 725.1035 x221.

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This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

The Winston-Salem Symphony receives operational funding from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County

Educational initiatives made possible with funding by Wells Fargo, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and The Winston-Salem and Forsyth County Schools.