Colleges and Schools

Certificate in Music for Social Change and Human Values

Music is a universal part of human life and comes with great power, opportunities, meaning and responsibilities: encouraging creativity, inspiring collaboration, bridging gaps, and breaking down barriers. For children, learning to play an instrument can be a source of pride, accomplishment, joy, and fun that leads to the development of excelling in all kinds of education and self-esteem that is necessary to reach for any dream.

Founded on the El Sistema Teaching Model

El Sistema is a proven model of teaching music to children in a way that not only creates great musicians but can also propel kids to achieve great success in all areas. Developed in Venezuela to provide free musical education to the poorest children, this method also involves parents and communities in creating safe, loving environments that encourage growth and confidence.

The Nation’s First Undergraduate Certificate in El Sistema

While it is gaining popularity in the United States and around the world, few programs are available for training teachers in the El Sistema method. The School of Music, Art and Theatre at North Park University is offering the first undergraduate certificate in the country.

The Music for Social Change and Human Values program evolved from a collaboration between North Park University and the People’s Music School in Chicago. Students majoring in music can add this certificate to their degree program to expand their knowledge and experience of the El Sistema philosophy. Focused on teaching youth to use bowed stringed instruments (violin, viola, cello, bass), North Park University offers hands-on internship experiences in Chicago-area youth orchestras and the opportunity to learn from El Sistema instructors.

Why Choose North Park?

Grounded in a mission of preparing students for lives of significance and service, North Park’s commitment to an education that considers faith, the urban setting, and inter-cultural learning is a perfect backdrop to a Certificate in Music for Social Change and Human Values. You’ll receive an excellent musical education: personalized advising, expert teaching and coaching from professional musicians, and a close-knit community of faculty and students who want to see you succeed.  You’ll build relationships and gain valuable performance experience in our various vocal and instrumental ensembles including, classical groups, jazz options, and an energetic gospel choir.

Certificate Requirements

Academic Catalog

To earn a Certificate in Music for Social Change and Human Values, you must be a music major (any of the degree options) who plays a stringed instrument and complete the following eight semester hours of coursework and internship credits:

Required semester hours: 8 sh

Required core courses:

  • MUS 1600: El Sistema (1 sh)
  • Either MUS 2083 and 3083 OR AMUS 3050
    • MUS 2083: Applied Methods: Strings (1 sh) and
      MUS 3083: Pedagogical Methods: Strings (1 sh)
    • AMUS 3050: Instrumental Pedagogy and Literature II (2 sh)
  • MUS 3690: Youth Orchestra Techniques (2 sh)
  • MUS 4970: Internship in music (1 sh per semester, 3 sh total)

Meet the Faculty

Tom Zelle, Music professor

Dr. Tom Zelle, professor of music and director of orchestral studies, has been integral in connecting North Park students with local youth orchestras where they can gain experience in El Sistema-inspired methods.

Learn more about Dr. Zelle.