Students Explore Their Family History through Music

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

Students Explore Their Family History through Music


An inventive initiative at a Northern Californian music program is connecting young musicians of Central and South American descent with their family heritages. The San Rafael-based program, Enriching Lives through Music (ELM), was seeking to celebrate their students’ cultural diversity through music—so they created “Reflections on Resilience,” a Carnegie Hall-funded project about generational music and family history. Students in the elmCATS (Community of Artists, Teachers, and Scholars) program interviewed older family members about their earliest memories of music, exploring how songs and melodies are tied to experiences of resilience and change. In addition to learning more about their families, students gained valuable interviewing, research, and technical skills. Award-winning Venezuelan composer Giancarlo Castro D’Addona is working with the students to create an original composition from these interviews, to be premiered at their Spring Concert on June 5.


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