Austin Soundwaves is an El Sistema-inspired music education program in Central Texas.



Austin Soundwaves provides high quality music education to artistically-underserved youth as a means to strengthen resiliency and awaken intrinsic motivation to learn, create, and achieve.


We envision a world where every child has access to music and intensive ensemble music learning and performing to promote positive youth development and thriving communities.                                             

(Shared Vision of El Sistema USA)

Theory of Change

Social Challenge

* Declining budgets and shifting curricular priorities have minimized and diluted arts education programs.

* Low income communities and schools lack the resources to provide high quality, intensive, long-term music education programs and performance opportunities.

* Low income students begin their musical training later in life, and rarely receive specialized, individual and small group instruction and therefore do not persist and excel in music programs and ensembles. 

Click here to download our theory of change infographic. 

Our Approach

Austin Soundwaves eliminates financial and cultural barriers so that students and their families can access a high quality music education program at their school. Programming consists of ensemble musical training along with specialized individual instruction and mentoring. Students participate in many performances, often collaborating with other arts organizations, schools, and community groups.  

Click here to view our current logic model

Results (years 1-3)

ASW Results.jpg

Learn More →


  • Improved grades, attendance, attitudes and psychological well-being.
  • Keeping students off the street and providing opportunities to visit and perform in concert halls and other public venues.
  • Exposure to people underserved students would not otherwise have the chance to meet. 

 100% high school graduation rate and numerous scholarships.
Double digit increases in school success and motivation to learn, create and achieve.
Our use of student/mentors and peer-to-peer instruction encourages students to share knowledge and skills, which in turn builds confidence and self-esteem. 

I want to change peoples lives. I want to be a part of peoples lives, especially through music.

I feel like teaching music helps me in different ways. I am giving back something that was given to me. Not only am I helping other students, but I am learning a lot about myself.

             -KimberlyC., Austin Soundwaves Student


Austin Soundwaves builds character in a person. I will be the first in my family to go to college.

-Karla Z., Austin Soundwaves Student