Review of Association Working Group Surveys
Survey #2 – Summary of Content
As discussed in the 1/25/12 conference call of the Working Group, response to the survey was once again very good. At the time of the call, 26 responses had been logged, which increased to 31 responses by the time this summary was written. Although the responses increased in number, the basic outcomes did not change at all. Prior statistics reported to the group were not mitigated, and instead were reinforced. The summary below therefore contains all data to date (i.e. the 31 responses).
In the new survey, the following findings were achieved:
- The group agreed that quality of programs should be included as a defining characteristic of core membership in the Association (Rating of 1.58). There were no respondents who either disagreed or strongly disagreed with this statement;
- The group also agreed that hours of programming per week was an important way to measure such program quality (Rating of 1.61).
- The group did not agree that the ratio of paid staff to volunteers was a strong measure of program quality (Rating of 2.89 with wide variation).
- The group agreed that it was important that core members’ programs be inspired by or built upon the values of El Sistema (Rating of 1.71).
- The group agreed that it was important for the Association to publicly identify itself as being inspired by or built upon the values of El Sistema (Rating of 2.08).
(Note: respondents were asked to rate 1-5 their strength of agreement with the above statements; 1= strongly agreed and 5=strongly disagreed; therefore, the lower the rating number, the stronger the agreement.)
Respondents were then asked to list their preferred names for the new association. 19 respondents offered their suggested names and what emerged once again reinforced prior findings:
- Over two-thirds (13/19) stated that the name of the new Association should be El Sistema USA (11) or should use El Sistema as part of the Association name (“Sistema USA”, “US El Sistema Network”);
- Preference was also given to names expressing the themes of music and social change (2) (examples-“National Association of Programs Promoting Social Change through Music”; “The Association of Music Programs for Thriving Societies”);
- Other respondents listed more general names (3): “Music System of America”; “POP USA-Public Orchestra Programs USA”; “Music in Motion”;
- One respondent chose not to list names per se, but listed concepts of life skills as more important to include in the name than music.
Such responses as those above appear to affirm the prior agreements of the working group that core members and the association should be inspired by or built upon the values of El Sistema, social change through music, and the importance of ensemble performance.
The final question asked respondents to craft a one-sentence mission statement or descriptive phrases to be included in such a statement for the Association. 23 respondents offered their suggestions and the prominent themes and common language that emerged were:
- 15 respondents included wording descriptive of social change as a primary purpose of the Association and/or its core members;
- 8 respondents specifically used the name El Sistema in the mission statement and alluded to El Sistema inspiration or values;
- 7 respondents specifically included language describing the Association and members’ goal of universal program access including serving “underserved”, “ALL” (sic.), and “Every child”;
- 5 respondents included statements regarding program quality;
- 5 respondents included references to ensemble-based programs.
Such responses are also consistent with the priorities reiterated above and in previous conversations with working group members.