The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.


The Núcleo as a Safe Space: Continuity, Discontinuity, Contrast

Alix Didier Sarrouy, musician; Sociologist of Arts and Culture at Instituto de Etnomusicologia – Música & Dança, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal

As a sociologist of arts and culture, I have spent the last 12 years of my professional life studying how music education may serve as a tool for education and social emancipation to youth in socio-economically deprived territories. Though I am a musician (drummer and percussionist), my particular interest is in not only the music teaching methods, but also, more broadly, all the social interactions that happen in and around a núcleo, and how they contribute to the potentially transformative effects on the lives of young people.


Abandoning Classical Music Escapism and Redefining Excellence

Dalanie Harris, Host of Classically Black Podcast

In a lot of ways, I was steeped in Black music growing up. It wasn’t until college that I realized there were areas where someone needed to actively be advocating for Black music. I wasn’t totally aware of this because I grew up surrounded by and participating in gospel music, one of the most deep-rooted musical traditions of Black America. When I started studying piano, I was introduced to what many of us know as “classical music,” and began to learn names like Haydn, Bach, and Mozart. This is also the point in time that I usually reference as the beginning of my musical training. Only recently did I notice that distinction, and the reason why is directly tied to what that “musical training” looked and felt like. Though I had been making music for some time, the centering of Western European classical music as the pinnacle of musicianship affected how I thought about my own music-making. Eventually, I realized that this limited musical perspective was doing more than creating a hierarchy—it was inhibiting musicians from tackling crucial and relevant issues, and hindering equity.


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