B-ME: Blending Melodies: Bridging Cultural Identities


B-Me Project

We are excited to announce the launch of the European Project B-ME: Blending Melodies: Bridging Cultural Identities. The B-ME project is implemented by Sistema Cyprus, El Sistema Greece and the Associação das Orquestras Sinfónicas Juveniles Sistema Portugal and is co-funded by the European Union. 

The project is pairing local composers with musicians from a refugee or migrant background to co-create original musical compositions that bridge the different cultural identities. These compositions will be performed by the partners’ youth orchestras and will be available for any other orchestras in the world. Through awareness raising concerts in the partners’ countries and beyond, B-ME is intended to highlight the value of cultural diversity.

Through this project we seek to offer the opportunity to musicians who have a refugee or migratory background to work with composers from their current community and co-create music compositions that bilaterally blend the sounds of their origins. Each pair will have the freedom in the creative process that will allow the composing partners to fully express their intimate music identity. The students of the partner organizations, who belong to these vulnerable groups will have the opportunities to learn through music workshops and later prepare to perform these compositions in concerts. By opening these concerts to the general public we give people the opportunity to see these children and these composer musicians from a different perspective and enable their understanding of other cultures through music. Finally, other composers and university students studying music and composition will have the opportunity to attend seminars focusing on the objective of promoting social equity through music. The results will be widely and orchestras in Europe and anywhere else in the world will be invited to perform these compositions in their own countries. The concerts of B-Me will be audio  and visually recorded, and widely shared through the partner’s social media, inspiring audiences for many years to come.  



MAC: Music for Active Citizenship


MAC PROJECTWe are excited to announce the launch of MAC- Music for Active Citizenship: a Young Music Mentors Programme. 

MAC is an Erasmus+ project implemented in Cyprus and Greece by the consortium partners Sistema Cyprus and El Sistema Greece. The project aims to offer opportunities for social and educational interactions between local Sistema music program students with a refugee or immigrant background and native students who study music. Based on the foundation of social music education, the project seeks to promote social equity and act towards social inclusion while educating for the appreciation of social diversity.

Expected Results: The project promotes social integration and social equity as it focuses on the capacity building of young music students and uses music as a tool for reaching out to marginalized young people and preventing racism and intolerance among youth. The results will be the promotion of intercultural dialogue and the appreciation of diversity in society, just like in the orchestra. We aspire that through wide dissemination other social music programs will replicate the program in their own communities.

Access the MAC e-learning platform here:


Sharing some moments from training our Young Music Mentors

MAC aims to bring together young mentors, who are already engaged in learning a musical instrument, together with 30 children and young people from Sistema Cyprus. The program commenced on October 2nd with a training seminar for the 23 young mentors, aged 14-35 years old. Specifically, the young music mentors were trained in the method and practices of El Sistema teaching and will collaborate with Sistema musicians. 🫱🏼‍🫲🏾

This program will empower the competency of youth mentors promoting music as a tool to reach out to young people with fewer opportunities, as well as to prevent racism and intolerance amongst young people. In addition, the quarterly interaction with Sistema children that the participants will appreciate, will encourage intercultural and interreligious dialogue, and simultaneously strengthen the knowledge, the acceptance and the appreciation of diversity in society.

MAC is an Erasmus+ project implemented in Cyprus and Greece by the consortium partners Sistema Cyprus and El Sistema Greece🇨🇾🇪🇺🇬🇷


MAC Training Package for Young Music Mentors is now available to download

The main purpose of the program is to use music education as a tool for the social integration of refugees and migrants, but also, more generally, for the acceptance of diversity and social change. MAC is a complete educational program containing both the basic theoretical principles of community music and the El Sistema program, as well as a multitude of educational activities with all the necessary supervisory materials and audio-visual media. The program also includes the training of young musicians who have the desire to work in music education in the future, of young music educators. 

Since the completion of the program and its evaluation, the MAC training manual  is made available here for music educators around the world to access it online.



Toolkits: M.U.S.E.- Music Unites Through Social Equity

The toolkits below have been developed under the project “M.U.S.E.: Music Unites through Social Equity”, co-funded by the Preparatory Action ‘Music Moves Europe’ by the European Union.

These toolkits present five different approaches of using non-formal methodologies for music education, offering a valuable resource for professional development to youth professionals working with students with less opportunities, and especially students of migrant and refugee background.

Blog Post #17


by Maria Kouvarou


“I want to sing”

(Y. & Mostafa)

A lullaby is, among other things, a love song. The melodic expression of parental love. A musical vehicle through which emotions travel from parents to children. An original lullaby, as the ones that participants of the Lullaby Project compose for their little ones, is the ultimate form of that expression. Because what is being created in the process is an original lullaby. Inspired by a parent’s personal experience and powered by the special, individual bond, between a specific parent to her or his children.

Such is the case with Y. who, in writing a lullaby for his daughters, he channeled his life story, his shared experience with them, his aspirations for them, and his hopes for a tomorrow filled with light through music, through melodies, and through beautiful imagery. And created their own, original lullaby, a love song to be shared with them and the world.

This is one of the characteristics of the process that Mostafa points out, and possibly one of those attributes of the Lullaby Project that makes it equally enriching for the participant composers: the creative task to “write feelings” and, in this case, to “write somebody else’s feelings”. To be able to connect with the other, to sense their ideas at a deeper level, as to be able to help them transfer those in the musical universe of lullaby writing. In order to do so, one needs to be able to also connect with the ultimate attribute of a lullaby, which is the attribute that provides it with universality: love. 

Love and its driving power create the thread that brings together the parents’ ideas with the composers’ creativity, the finished lullaby with the children, all the lullabies together, and all the lullabies with parents and children around the globe. In this way, love and its driving power dressed with the light of lullabies, become the soundtrack with which we can sing our way to a better world.

Artist collaborating with mother: Mostafa Ismail

Lullaby Supported by: European University  

Follow Sistema Cyprus’ social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram to experience the journey of Lullaby creation.

Blog Post #16

Exploring the Lullaby Project: Lullaby #1, Dioh & Andreas 

by Maria Kouvarou

“Adorable Child”

(Dioh & Andreas)

Dioh and Andreas have collaborated to bring to life a beautiful lullaby for Dioh’s little treasures. A loving mother with much strength and tenderness in her heart, and a professional composer who acted as a “lever”, helping her translate this strength and tenderness into a heart-warming song, to be shared with her children and the world. 

This contact that takes place during the process of the Lullaby Project is indicative of one of the main messages of the project itself, which accentuates the role of music as one of the most powerful social tools and a vehicle that strengthens the human bond. 

The social power of music is something that Andreas also emphasizes when he speaks about his experience with the Lullaby Project. And, indeed, when one considers the many and varied backgrounds from which the participants of the Lullaby Project come from, be it the parents, the composers, and many other team members, and the way music in general and lullabies in particular becomes their unifying element, their common purpose, this becomes even more evident. 

Lullabies carry within them a universality that is felt and understood by all. Existent from the ancient years and within every civilization, and still strongly relevant today, they are one of those cultural forms that show a deeper connection to what is human at its core level. The love of parents (or caregivers) for their children, the passing on of songs through oral tradition, the will to soothe babies to sleep with beautiful images of stars, and moons, and light, and hope… is something that can be felt across the globe and throughout time.

And the way, through the Lullaby Project, parents have the experience of creating their unique lullaby, for their unique connection for their babies, and share this with other parents and children around the world adds up to that experience of universality, by emphasizing that each individual is – and should be – equal part of the whole. Through the project, each parent is given a voice. And each voice becomes significant for all. 

So, when Dioh sings to her little ones the lullaby she and Andreas composed, she at the same time becomes a significant figure, a universal voice, that shares her experience and tenderness with everyone in this world. 

Watch Andreas’ interview about his experience here. 

Artist collaborating with mother: Andreas Michalopoulos

Lullaby Supported by: Frederick University  

Follow Sistema Cyprus’ social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram to experience the journey of Lullaby creation.

Blog Post #15

Exploring the Lullaby Project: Lullaby #5, Louise & Yiorgos

by Maria Kouvarou

“The majestic beauty of genuine love”

(Louise & Yiorgos)

A composer’s work can be a lonely process – even at its most creative and fruitful, it often takes place in the confinement of one’s own mind and behind closed “doors”. For the Lullaby Project, composers have to step out of their creative confinement and collaborate with parents, becoming guides and vehicles for musically materializing the love songs they want to write for their children.

The different approach required for the Lullaby Project might at first appear as challenging, but, as Yiorgos says, it is an experience filled with beauty. To closely collaborate with a parent who sets out to creatively express the pure, genuine sentiments that come with parental love opens up new creative windows, through which emotional contact, empathy, and human communication at the most fundamental level can enter. 

The apparent simplicity that characterizes lullabies as musical forms, leaves ample room for this purity of emotions to shine; to reach the baby, lull it to sleep, and open the door to beautiful dreams where safety, hope, and love prevail. 

This is what happens every time Louise sings to her little boy the lullaby she wrote for him with the guidance of Yiorgos; a new creative experience that was revealing for both the composer and her. An experience that produced another unique expression of the majestic beauty of genuine love to be shared with her baby and the whole world. 


Artist collaborating with mother: Yiorgos Christofi 

Lullaby Supported by: EY Cyprus 

Follow Sistema Cyprus’ social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram to experience the journey of Lullaby creation.

Blog Post #14

Exploring the Lullaby Project: Lullaby #3, Aurelie & Georgia

by Maria Kouvarou

“Love of my life”

(Aurelie & Georgia)

New mother Aurelie and professional composer Georgia collaborated for the creation of a lullaby, a love song for a little miracle none of them had yet met when the Lullaby Project began. As a pregnant woman, Aurelie was experiencing this miracle firsthand. The expectation for her little treasure, who had already changed her life merely through the announcement of his arrival.

The emotions of hope, of affection, of love, that Aurelie was experiencing during her pregnancy, found their way into the creative process of writing the lullaby. They informed it, they adorned it, they unfolded into words and melodies – they became materializations of love and produced the birth of another miracle to accompany the arrival of Aurelie’s son. 

Georgia, the artistic agent that assisted in bringing this musical materialization to life, experienced her own journey of emotional and creative growth. As she says, Aurelie’s persistent use of the word miracle made her realize that life itself is a miracle. And what a greater evidence for that than the arrival of the little miracle that has been the inspiration and the emotional beacon that lit the creation of this beautiful lullaby… his lullaby… the one that belongs solely to him

…which, at the same time, he will share with all the children of this world. 

You can read previous blog posts about Lullaby #3 here and here

Artist collaborating with mother: Georgia Chrystoforou

Lullaby Sponsor: XM Cyprus

Follow Sistema Cyprus’ social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram to experience the journey of Lullaby creation.

Follow Sistema Cyprus’ social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram to experience the journey of Lullaby creation.

To find out more about Sistema Cyprus, please visit the website: www.sistemacyprus.com 


Blog Post #13

Exploring the Lullaby Project: Lullaby #4, Sofie & Annita/Marios

by Maria Kouvarou

“Unconditional Love”

(Sofie & Annita/Marios)

When caregivers create lullabies for their babies, they fill the airwaves with emotions and thoughts that stem from the depths of their hearts, adorned with melodies and harmonies that become the vehicles for their expression.

Did you miss the previous blog post on this lullaby? Read it here

During the process of the Lullaby Project, this becomes one of the main challenges and responsibilities that composers have – to become vehicles themselves. To help parents express without interfering with the emotional foundation of what is being created. To translate and materialize the caregivers’ ideas, guiding them in the creative process, and allowing their inspiration to shine.

This requires empathy, trust, and bonding. It requires the space for parents to feel safe to express their thoughts and ideas, and the ability on the part of composers to tune into what is being said, “listen” to the musical possibility of it, and become agents of its creation.

Annita and Marios, working with Sofie, became such agents. They heard her thoughts, felt her love, and listened closely to her musical ideas. Annita, being a mother herself, already had a common ground to step onto. For Marios, it was a new experience, and one through which he transformed as an artist and a human. All the participants who worked together for this enchanting lullaby found this an enriching experience, and, in the process they all grew. 

And that’s the beauty of sharing, creation, and love. A beauty that is readily audible in this lullaby, written in the Greek-Cypriot dialect and sung in the musical idiom of love.

Artist collaborating with mother: Annita Constantinou and Marios Kolonias  

Lullaby Supported by: University of Nicosia 

Follow Sistema Cyprus’ social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram to experience the journey of Lullaby creation.

Blog Post #12

Exploring the Lullaby Project: Lullaby #1, Dioh & Andreas

by Maria Kouvarou

“Adorable Child”

(Dioh & Andreas)

Dioh sings to her little treasures and, as she does, she teaches them how to sing. Dioh sings to her little treasures the lullaby she wrote for them and, as she does, she watches them being soothed to sleep. And then, sometimes, at moments when she least expects it, she hears them sing that same lullaby, their lullaby, and those very moments become yet another passage for the majesty of motherhood to be revealed.

Because, motherhood is a sacred thing, entailing a multitude of roles. As Dioh herself writes:

“I equally admire the strength of every mother. Accepting to obtain degrees informally the moment she gained the title mother. She becomes a teacher, teaching and nurturing her kids from childhood to adulthood. She becomes an economist/accountant managing the finances of her home. An environmentalist, taking proper care of her surroundings. A doctor, giving first aid to the kids at home before rushing to the hospital if the need arises. Every other profession we could think of, a woman has obtained informal certificates.

It’s not by chance we call our universe “mother earth” and not “father earth”, because the globe is in the hands of women”.


What is ever-present in Dioh’s passage, is the part that a mother plays as a role-model. The way in which her example is transferred to her children by osmosis. The power she has in raising them as humans who will aspire for a better future. 

And therefore, when Dioh’s children sing their own lullaby to the world, she can hear all the love and affection that she infused in its creation being channeled to them and through them. And she knows that from generation to generation, the thread of light, love and hope will keep leading us to a better world.

Artist collaborating with mother: Andreas Michalopoulos

Lullaby Supported by: Frederick University  

Follow Sistema Cyprus’ social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram to experience the journey of Lullaby creation.


"Let us reveal to our children the beauty of music, and music shall reveal to our children the beauty of life" - José Antonio Abreu, Founder of El SIstema 

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