Empowering Youth, Building Community

YOLA National programs bring together those who believe that music education has a powerful role to play in youth and community development. Designed to respond to the changing needs of the field, YOLA National offers an ever-growing number of opportunities for young musicians, teaching artists, program administrators, and other stakeholders to learn from and create community with one another.

Through this work, the LA Phil aims to empower young people from populations that have been historically excluded from intensive music training and foster a dialogue among practitioners that will help shape the future of the field.

What is the history of YOLA National?   

YOLA National Symposium

2019 Symposium Theme: Empowering Youth, Building Community

July 24-27, 2019

The YOLA National Symposium brings together educators, administrators, advocates, and other key stakeholders in both Sistema-inspired programs and programs similarly invested in youth and community development through music education.

Over the course of the symposium, participants from around the world share best practices, network with their peers, and explore the challenges and opportunities of empowering young people and communities through music.

The symposium will culminate in a performance of the YOLA National Symphony Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Register now for the 2019 Symposium! Spaces limited! 

Schedule to be announced. 

Register Here

General Registration Costs:

  • $50 for a single day

  • $100 for 3 days

  • $125 for 3 days + Pre-Symposium

50% off discount available for members of El Sistema USA!

Apply for scholarship support


Important Dates

Register now – spaces limited!

 Online registration opens:

 May 17, 2019

 Scholarship application opens:

 May 24, 2019

 Scholarship application closes:

 June 20, 2019

 Scholarship notifications sent to applicants: 

 June 28, 2019

 Online registration closes:

 July 15, 2019

 In-person registration available:

 July 24–27, 2019 

 Pre-Symposium session:

 July 24, 2019 

 Pre-Symposium session:  
 YOLA @ Torres Site Visit +
 Positive Youth Development Session

 July 24, 2019

 YOLA National Symposium:

 July 25–27, 2019
 *Breakfast & Lunch Provided

Questions? Email YOLA@laphil.org 

Focal Areas

Empowering Youth, Building Community 

Youth and Community Voice: How can we bring the voice of those we serve to the center of our practice, from program design? 

Creativity: How can we incorporate creativity, improvisation and composition authentically into the orchestral context, from the beginning level through our highest performing ensembles? 

Artistry and Challenge: How can we continue to improve our ability to use the unique benefits and opportunities of intensive music instruction to drive increased socio-emotional growth in the young people we serve? 

Race and Power: How can we actively engage our young people in conversations about race, power, identity, and intersectionality, with a goal of developing practical tools for combatting the socio-economic forces that challenge many of the young people and families we serve? 

Program Design: How do we create programs that model equity, inclusion, and a true sense of belonging in all aspects of their design and implementation? 

Professional Development: How can we provide our teaching artists and staff with the best possible training, both as teachers and as artists, as a means of improving program impact? 

Partnerships: How can we increase collaboration nationally and in our own communities to better leverage the unique strengths and interests of the vast network of organizations and individuals seeking positive social change through arts education?