This is a report about the El Sistema Greece, a non-profit organization based in Athens, Greece, that supports children, specifically young asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, using music education as their main tool.

This report documents the results obtained from a month-and-a half-long ethnographic study held on site, which was led by Alix Didier Sarrouy, principal investigator of the research project ‘YouSound - Music education as an inclusive tool for underage refugees in Europe’ (2022–2023). The social science research project is based at the Institute of Ethnomusicology – Music & Dance, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, Lisbon Nova University. This project is financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (grant agreement EXPL/SOC-SOC/0504/2021), guaranteeing research independence and no conflict of interest. GDPR and ethical research concerns have been approved by the Data Protection Office of the University. For further information, please
visit the research project website: www.yousound.eu

El Sistema Greece has been welcoming, caring for and teaching young asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and Greek youths by providing music education since 2016. As this report makes clear, the educational context is demanding, particularly with regard to social skills, pedagogical knowledge, emotion management and resilience. We find this to be true for all participants involved, including students, teachers, parents and caretakers, volunteers, directors, institutional partners and financers. ESG has proved its effectiveness, adaptability and resilience over the years. It is a dynamic organisation, capable of weathering instability and challenges, including: the changes in the macro management of asylum seekers at a national and European level; the fluctuations of the political and economic contexts in Greece; and the COVID pandemic. Actions and results are also impacted by the fact that Greece is perceived by most asylum seekers as a country of passage, not somewhere to
build a future. ESG has been in the avant-garde of music teaching in refugee camps and in online classes during the pandemic. 

We hope this report is inclusive, accessible and useful to all social actors interested in comprehensive art education programmes, from policy-makers to teachers and students. Our objective is to present the collected data straightforwardly and effectively, and to ensure that it is accessible to a broad readership. We hope that it elicits curiosity, awareness and critical thinking, and that every reader further develops the ideas presented in thought and action. In parallel with this information report, the YouSound research team is engaging
in a deeper analysis which will be the backbone for future scientific outputs.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLisboa
PublisherINET-md, NOVA.FCSH
Number of pages69
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2023


  • Report
  • El Sistema Greece
  • Music education
  • Inclusion
  • Migrations
  • Refugees
  • Underaged
  • YouSound
  • Integration
  • Orchestra


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