Violins for Children

$30 for this 11x17 poster  purchase through  Fox Valley El Sistema Program. and they recieve 100% of the proceeds.

The Fox Valley El Sistema program brings instruments and instruction to disadvantaged students in public schools in Aurora, IL and surrounding communities.

Fox Valley El Sistema is a program that provides instruments and instruction for children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument. 

Our first program was launched in 2013 at Smith Elementary School in Aurora, IL. 75 students participated, learning to play the violin, viola, or cello. The program was a smashing success. Students not only learned to play an instrument, but also practiced responsibility and discipline, in addition to having a lot of fun. As you can see from our video, the program had a huge impact on our students and their families. “The El Sistema program changed my life.” —Ethan, Fox Valley El Sistema fifth grader.  

We would like to bring the Fox Valley El Sistema Program to a second school this fall. Will you help us?



What We Need 

A new program will cost over $40,000 to launch:

  • Instruments: $20,000. This is our biggest start-up cost. Our staff members and volunteers scour garage and estate sales, pawn shops, and resale stores to find inexpensive instruments. However, most instruments must be purchased in a retail setting. The average cost of a student instrument for the program is a little over $250.
  • Instructors: $20,000. This amount covers 3 instructors for 2 after-school sessions per week during the school year. 
  • Repairs: $2500. Instruments are fragile. Even though our students must demonstrate responsibility and care in order to earn their instruments, accidents happen. Some repairs are simple, but others require sending the instrument to the instrument shop for specialized equipment or parts. 
  • Supplies: $500. You’d be surprised at how quickly the little supplies add up. Marking tapes, paper, dry erase markers, rosin, sponges, rubber bands, endpin stoppers, and strings are all necessary for the day-to-day operations of the El Sistema program. 

We hope to raise at least $10,000 through our IndieGogo campaign. The rest will be raised by asking community organizations for contributions and applying for grants. Our parent organization, the Fox Valley Orchestra, will also contribute a significant amount to our operating costs. 


What happens if we don’t reach our goal? 

Any funds raised will go toward maintaining the existing El Sistema program at Smith Elementary in Aurora while we continue to raise funds to launch a program at a second school. 


The Perks:

We keep adding new perks. Check out the sidebar so that you don’t miss anything!


Who we are:

Fox Valley El Sistema is one of the youth programs of the Fox Valley Orchestra. A registered 501(c)3 organization, the Fox Valley Orchestra’s mission is to provide fine musical performances for people of all ages and educational opportunities for youth. The El Sistema program is one of their educational outreach vehicles. 


The instructors in the El Sistema program are professional music teachers with years of experience. Their skill and flexibility allowed them to build an after-school program from scratch last year. As an organization, Fox Valley El Sistema learned so much from this experience, and they are ready to spread the magic.   


As you can see from our campaign video, we have an excellent track record. The first Fox Valley El Sistema program brought instruments, instruction, culture, confidence, and fun to 75 students. We will build on that success to expand the program to another school. You can trust us to use your contribution wisely to make a huge impact on our students. 


Since we are a registered not-for-profit organization, your gift to us is tax-deductible. 




The Impact

Music education provides countless benefits for children, including: 


  • Creativity: Music provides a creative outlet, which is often lacking in schools as our public school system focuses more and more on standardized tests. 
  • Coordination: The connections between brain and body are tested and honed by playing any musical instrument. This is especially true with stringed instruments - creating music on a violin, viola or cello requires the coordinated application of gross and fine motor skills, as well as hand-eye and ear-eye coordination. 
  • Brain development: Music requires students to sharpen memory skills and spatial skills. Music education forges new neural pathways. 
  • Responsibility: Students earn their instruments by taking care of a “box instrument” - a cardboard representation of an instrument that students create at the beginning of the program. Once the instruments are earned, the students must continue to be responsible for the safety of their instruments and for bringing the instrument to school on Orchestra days. 
  • Time management: Students must find time to practice their instruments outside of class. 
  • Improved academic performance: The benefits of the brain development, responsibility, and time management combine to help students achieve more in their academic coursework. 
  • Teamwork: Learning to make music and harmonize in an ensemble teaches children to work together and contribute to a common goal. 


Fox Valley El Sistema is also a safe haven for at-risk students, providing structured after-school activities as alternatives to video games, television, and gang activity.  

Successful arts programs and after-school programs benefit EVERYONE - the students, their families, and their communities. The more programs we introduce, the more students we can reach and the more communities we can benefit. 






27 July 2014
United States