Music has been a core component of HOLA since its inception, with its first formal arts program beginning in 1993. As both interest and need grew, HOLA transformed its private and group lessons into a structured program that today includes its youth orchestra and a Music Studios program, including jazz and rock bands. In 2010, HOLA partnered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to bring orchestral music to underserved children in Los Angeles. The Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) is the second site of Gustavo Dudamel’s signature program. In 2013, HOLA began a partnership with The Longy School of Music at Bard College’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program to host on HOLA’s campus an innovative community-based teaching residency that provides MAT candidates with an integrated graduate music program that utilizes El Sistema philosophy and pedagogy, in addition to providing YOLA at HOLA with increased teaching hours, exceptional classroom instruction, student and family engagement and more.

To ensure that students are also succeeding academically, HOLA provides tutors and homework help as well as academic intervention. High school students have access to HOLA’s comprehensive College and Career Success programming, which includes ACT/SAT preparation classes and college application workshops. HOLA provides an immersive and sophisticated music education curriculum that further offers the holistic and individualized academic and social support that gives students in this community every opportunity to succeed.

program enrollment

Open enrollment is available for the Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions. Apply online or on site.




YOLA at HOLA is a free after-school youth orchestra program that is inspired by the Venezuelan El Sistema movement and provides free instruments, ensemble-based classical music instruction and performance opportunities to underserved and at-risk youth in Los Angeles. Students receive exceptional instruction from professional teaching artists in section, ensemble and orchestra rehearsals, specialized music classes and a variety of wrap-around resources. As it has grown, HOLA has thoughtfully developed the program to advance students both musically and academically, supporting HOLA’s goal to help all youth explore and build their educational pathways.

Each week, YOLA at HOLA students participate in up to 15 hours of sectional, ensemble and orchestra rehearsals, specialized music classes and more, led by dedicated teaching artists using a standards-based and ensemble-focused curriculum that is designed to achieve proficiency in the orchestral repertoire. Students also participate in 20+ performances annually at venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. To give students access to the wide community of music performers, certain concerts are collaborations with other youth orchestras, and/or professional musicians, including members of the LA Philharmonic and Maestro Gustavo Dudamel. YOLA at HOLA foregrounds a classical music education in which HOLA’s musicians learn and perform a sophisticated repertoire of classical compositions arranged for full orchestras, chamber groups and sections.

In YOLA at HOLA’s first year, HOLA engaged 100 youth and now annually serves more than 300 elementary through high school students.

HOLA Music Studios

HOLA Music Studios is HOLA’s original music program which started more than twelve years ago with a small vocal ensemble. The program’s humble beginnings consisted of a few guitars, a never ending quest for space to practice and an exchange between passionate teachers and curious students. Overtime, the program has slowly expanded into two rock bands and two jazz ensembles that actively perform for various community events here in Los Angeles. The program also provides private lessons for guitar, piano, and drums.








YOLA at HOLA and Music Program Director

P: 213-389-1148 x 301



This program is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.