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

Editorial

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.

EDITORIAL

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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