Los Angeles: July 13–14, 2018
Location: Walt Disney Concert Hall & The Colburn School

The Take a Stand Symposium brings together leaders, teachers, and key stakeholders from around the world with a vested interest in the El Sistema movement and progressive practices in music education. This year’s symposium will focus on embracing student-centered approaches as a means of improving musical and social outcomes in Sistema-inspired programs. Participants will come together for two days of sharing best practices, networking, and collectively reimagining ways music can empower the young people and communities we serve.

The symposium will culminate in a performance of the National Take a Stand Festival at Walt Disney Concert Hall, made up of 140 outstanding students from programs across the US!

New This Year: 3-Day Teaching Intensive (Beginning July 12th)

This summer’s symposium will feature a Teaching Intensive where practicing music teachers dedicated to social impact and youth development will engage in three days of collaborative work and professional development. Through discussion, skills based workshops, and action-oriented sessions, teachers will explore topics including:

  • Student-centered music pedagogy
  • Strategies for individualized instruction in group settings
  • Fostering intrinsic motivation
  • Cultivating student ownership, leadership and independence
  • Best practices in youth and community development through the arts

Scholarships are available to support travel costs for Teaching Intensive participants! See below for details.


Symposium (July 13-14)

Registration for the symposium is $50*.
Teaching Intensive applicants - please do not register at this time. Use the application available below.

Register Now

Event registration closes July 5, 2018.
*Admission to the National Take a Stand Festival performance is included as part of your Take a Stand Symposium registration.


Teaching Intensive (July 12-14)

Registration for the Teaching Intensive is $50 for the full event. Due to the nature of these workshops, registration will be limited through application. Teaching Artists will be admitted to the Intensive on a rolling basis beginning May 4, until the program reaches capacity.

  • Eligibility: Participants should actively be involved in teaching students, or directly training teachers, in Sistema-inspired and aligned programs engaged in youth development through music.
  • Scholarships: Travel and registration scholarships for the Teaching Intensive are available! Please complete the scholarship request portion of the Teaching Intensive application.

Apply Now

Priority deadline to apply for scholarship support is June 8, 2018.

Schedule Overview

The National Take a Stand Festival performance is optional and included in your Take a Stand Symposium or Teacher Intensive registration.

Download the detailed Symposium and Teaching Intensive Schedule

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Thursday, July 12

Teaching Intensive Only

8:00AM: Registration Opens

9:00AM - 6:00PM: Keynote, Speakers, Panels and Breakout Discussions

7:00PM - 11:00PM: Hollywood Bowl Concert (optional)

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Friday, July 13

Symposium and Teaching Intensive

8:00AM: Registration Opens

8:00AM - 10:00AM: Networking Breakfast

10:00AM - 6:00PM: Speakers, Panels and Breakout Discussions

season ticket photo

Saturday, July 14

Symposium and Teaching Intensive

8:00AM: Registration Opens

9:00AM - 5:00PM: Speakers, Panels, Breakout Discussions, Closing Plenary

6:00PM - 7:00PM: National Take a Stand Festival Concert led by Gustavo Dudamel

7:00PM - 8:30PM: Closing Reception


Special Rate at Millennium Biltmore Hotel! (Please note: If you are applying for scholarship, you do not need to reserve a hotel room at this point.)

The Take a Stand Symposium has arranged a symposium rate of $189 single/double per night (plus tax) at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, located at 506 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071 (walking distance from the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Colburn School).

You may make reservation online, or by calling 213-624-1011 and using group code: 1807STAND8. Let them know you are part of Take a Stand Symposium. Reservations must be made no later than July 1, 2018, and attendees are urged to reserve early to guarantee availability.

Other Area Hotels:

The LA Grand Hotel Downtown, 333 S. Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071, 213-617-1133; ask for LA Phil rate $185/night (plus tax).

Freehand Hotel, 416 W. 8th St., Los Angeles, CA 90014; single, private and shared/hostel style rooms in newly refurbished hotel. Rates start @ $70/night.

Questions? Email yola@laphil.org