Codi'r To is a community regeneration project that brings the world-renowned El Sistema teaching method to North Wales. We work in two schools, Ysgol Maesincla in Caernarfon, and Ysgol Glancegin in Bangor.
Three professional music tutors work in the schools leading activities and lessons, giving each child in year 4 of Ysgol Glancegin, and year 5 of Ysgol Maesincla the opportunity to learn to play brass and percussion instruments. They also make connections with the families and the neighbourhood surrounding the schools by bringing live music to the community.
The aim of Codi'r To is to transform lives through music. It is a community development project that aims to improve the lives of individuals and families, by working in primary schools to give new experiences through musical tutoring.
The project was developed by a Steering Group representing arts, community and education interests in Gwynedd who came together because they wanted to apply the distinctive El Sistema approach in a Welsh cultural context.
The original Steering Group had representatives from:
- Cwmni Cofis Bach, which runs community projects using music and the arts with young children at Canolfan Noddfa in Peblig in Caernarfon. Click here to visit their website.
- Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias, which provides music tuition for all ages outside of the school setting and also works in partnership with Cofis Bach to provide pre-school music provision in Noddfa and bring music into the lives of the young children of Peblig. Click here to visit their website.
- Gwasanaeth Ysgolion William Mathias, which delivers peripatetic music tuition in schools and runs numerous county bands and orchestras in Gwynedd, Anglesey and Denbighshire. Click here to visit their website.
The inspiration of the El Sistema programme has its origins in Venezuela but also from programmes that use similar methods, such as the Big Noise in Scotland and In Harmony in England.
The project is delivered primarily through the medium of Welsh language and culture, one of only a handful of projects delivered through a minority language.
In November 2014 Sistema Cymru – Codi'r To was added to the Register of Charities.
Codi'r To is being evaluated by Bangor University to provide evidence of the extent to which the project achieves its aims and objectives, and to assess the impact both for the young people and the schools and the community response.
This project is backed by The Arts Council of Wales, Communities First, Gwynedd County Council, Comic Relief, Community Foundation in Wales, North and Mid Wales Reaching Wider Partnership, Widening Access Centre, Bangor University, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd, Ysgol Maesincla, and Ysgol Glancegin.