• Piano
In 1975, the Venezuelan conductor José António Abreu initiated a programme with strong social references, involving children and young people at risk from socially and economically deprived populations – the Venezuelan Youth and Children Orchestra National System, known as El Sistema. In Portugal, the creation in 2007 of the project Orquestra Geração was inspired by the El Sistema, and like the Venezuelan project, it builds its action upon a perspective of social inclusion through involvement with music, primarily directed towards children and adolescents in greater educational and social risk and vulnerability. The first nucleus of the Orquestra Geração appears in October 2007, supported by the European Community programme EQUAL, integrating pupils from a school in Amadora. In 2008/2009 another nucleus was created in Casal da Mira, and between 2009/2010 and 2011/2012 five further expansions are being planned within the Lisbon metropolitan area as well as one in the North of Portugal, in Mirandela. The present investigation will be constructed upon two main axes: the social inclusive target of the project, and the fact that the majority of the performed repertoire comes from classical music. It seeks to understand the ways through which musical meaning is constructed and achieved in the orchestra, the pedagogic and didactic practices that enact musical knowledge and the fundamental structure of the training programme for the music teachers participating in the project. A model of analysis will be constructed in order to identify how the success of the project is constructed, bearing in mind a balance between the primary claim for social inclusion, and the distinction and selection of high levels of musical skills demonstrated by the protagonists. Methodologically, the research team will develop a strategy of extensive investigation, mapping the different spheres where the project institutionally and territorially takes place. This will provide the empirical sustainability for the posterior focus in two case studies.
Graça Mota
Participating Institution
Institute of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities from the University of Porto
FCT Grant  
Research Team
Graça Mota | Rui Bessa | Rui Ferreira | Jorge Alexandre Costa | Graça Boal-Palheiros | Francisco Monteiro | Ana Luísa Veloso | Rui Pinto | Ana Isabel Cruz | João Teixeira Lopes | Pedro Santos Boia | Matilde Caldas | Rute Teixeira
March 2012 to February 2015
Social inclusion, communities of practice, engagement with music, musical pedagogy