San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Music Schools to Flourish under New Plan

Twelve music schools across the country will be improved and nine new ones created as part of the National System for Musical Education (SINEM), introduced last month as part of the 2006-2010 National Plan for Development of the Cultural Sector.

The music programs will be run by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, and are directed at the youth of Costa Rica. The schools will offer high-quality musical training that includes teaching on musical theory, learning to play an instrument and practicing those skills in studios and musical groups, according to a statement from the ministry.

The new program was introduced at the NationalMusicCenter in Moravia, a suburb northeast of San José, with President Oscar Arias speaking at the event. The President compared a person’s lack of musical exposure to a lack of self-fulfillment.

“I know there are people who have never heard a nocturne. I know there are people who do not know what a symphony is. I know there are people who die without ever passing their fingers over a piano,” Arias said. “So that this does not happen again, so that people no longer live in silence – or in noise without harmony, which is worse than silence – so that music may flood our lives and hearts, that is why we began this program.”

Professors will include professional musicians with a vocation toward educating, as well as members of national bands, professional orchestras and other distinguished musicians, according to the statement. The schools will occupy municipal buildings, libraries and teaching centers.

The 12 existing schools to be redeveloped first are located in Heredia, north of San José; Santa Ana, southwest of the capital; Cartago and Tres Ríos, east of San José; Palmares, northwest of the capital; Pérez Zeledón, in the Southern Zone; Abangares and La Cruz, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste; and Orotina, just inland from the central Pacific coast.

After this year, schools will also be created in the small town of Patarrá, south of San José; in the western San José district of Pavas; downtown Alajuela, northwest of San José; Guanacaste’s Santa Cruz; the Caribbean port of Limón; Ciudad Quesada and Tilarán, in north-central Costa Rica; and Parrita-Quepos, on the central Pacific coast.


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