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YOLA National at Home offers courses, content, and project-based learning opportunities for youth and adults alike. Students, educators, artists, and in some cases, all music lovers, will find relevancy in these curated broadcast and interactive experiences held over Zoom and YouTube Live.

July 10-31, 2020

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Sessions will be offered 3-4 times throughout the week, new sessions will be announced on an ongoing basis

What to Expect:

Participants will share innovative practices with one another and hear from members of the LA Phil family, including Gustavo Dudamel and Thomas Wilkins, as well as leading voices in the creative youth development and El Sistema fields. Last summer, YOLA National focused on power and the implications of power in our classrooms and communities. This year, in addition to conversations on music, learning, and social justice, we will look at concepts of Identity and how it impacts the work we aim to do. All events will be offered at no cost to participants.

Members of the YOLA National Faculty teaching students


Keynotes – Inspirational talks from some of our closest LA Phil and YOLA family members, including Thomas Wilkins

Community Voices – Candid conversations with a panel of invited guests discussing topics drawn from our YOLA National content areas

Teaching Insights – Practical and interactive training for teachers and teaching artists

Pathway Explorations – Facilitated conversations with artists and professionals about their origin stories, education, and career development, and how they approach their work

Young Artist Series – Youth-centered content for young musicians in the El Sistema-inspired and orchestral fields, including practical musical training

YOLA National Festival

In addition to the Young Artist series available to our musical community, musicians of the 2020 YOLA National Festival Orchestras will be offered sectionals, wellness workshops, masterclasses, and facilitated dialogue with guest artists and speakers from the LA Phil and YOLA National Festival faculty.

Members of the YOLA National Faculty leading percussion symposium

Featured Collaborations

Project 440

The LA Phil and Project 440 are partnering together to offer YOLA National Symphony Orchestra musicians a six-week virtual program focused on using art as a vehicle for positive change. Project 440’s program focuses on how high school-aged musicians can effect change in their communities and how the program can prepare them for college or conservatory. Musicians from YOLA National, YOLA, and other programs across the country will gain a deeper understanding of the college admissions process and will work with their peers, teachers, and guest artists from various paths and professions in the field of music. For more information on Project 440’s work, please visit

El Sistema USA

YOLA National and El Sistema USA are teaming up to share a four-part conversation series, including deep-dives into best practices for online music learning, online concerts and collective recordings, how to support public school partners through summer programming, preparing for fall, and an open-forum conversation for anyone inspired by the field of El Sistema, facilitated by Members of El Sistema USA.

Content Areas

Youth and Community Voice

How can we bring the voice of those we serve to the center of our practice, from program design?


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

Social Justice

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?


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?

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?


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?

Distance Learning: Moving from Reactive to Proactive

What does it mean for a musical and community-based learning environment to transition to distance learning overnight? How are our teaching practices adapting to a virtual landscape? What are we learning from young people in this process, and how are we adapting to their needs? What kind of data are we collecting, and how can we harness it to serve us in the future?