The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.
News & Resources
The 2021 World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE) Virtual World Summit, titled “Arts Impact: Context Matters,” will be held October 11–15. Produced by Creative Generation, The University of Florida (UF), and the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE), the Summit will welcome arts education professionals from across the world to share their learning and develop a set of international principles for arts assessment. Learn more from Creative Generation and UF, and register via Creative Generation.
Singapore-based teaching artist Jeffrey Tan is exploring ways that fellow TAs can advocate for inclusive arts practice in Asia, through his ITAC-funded program Teaching Artist Asia. The project seeks to document, map, and advocate for TAs working across the region, exploring inclusive practice and collaborating with the sector’s disability community. As part of the project, Tan and a series of guest speakers host monthly online sessions that unpack the unique ways that TAs in Asia approach their work. Sessions are free to attend, and the next one is September 27. View the schedule via ITAC to get involved. The project’s findings will be shared at the ITAC6 Conference in Oslo in 2022.
The pandemic has led many to confront longstanding inequities in their communities—none more so than our young people, who have made their voices heard in unprecedented ways. The Karma for Cara Foundation’s Microgrant Program seeks to support these young people as they work to improve their communities around the world. Available to youth ages 18 or younger, grants range from $250 to $1,000 and are given to young people working on community service projects, from rebuilding school playgrounds to helping senior citizens prepare for winter. Many of our students have creative community service projects in mind—let’s share this opportunity with them. Application deadlines are quarterly throughout the year, and this year’s final deadline is October 1. Visit Karma for Cara Foundation’s website to apply online.
The Lewis Prize for Music has done something unusual in the grant-making arena: it just released a detailed, probing report on the state of the field, titled “Midcasting Toward Just Futures: Creative Youth Development’s Waymaking to Systems Change Through and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Download the report via Lewis Prize to learn how over 280 music CYD organizations are meeting the challenges of our time, and what youth leaders are saying about systems change. The report focuses on “the intersection of this deep trust-building relational work with CYD’s internal justice orientations, direct service and immediate needs responsiveness, movement building, and partnerships, as a nexus of systems change.”
How are young conductors breaking the traditional mold and learning to reach out to their communities in new ways? According to this article by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times, it has a lot to do with Gustavo Dudamel. The Dudamel Fellowship Program, which he started at the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2009, has produced a number of rising conductors—many of them women—who think about “what is needed to serve diverse audiences…and what it means for an orchestra to belong to a community.”
A recent survey conducted by the Save The Music Foundation shows that students are having a difficult time returning to the classroom. Responses from their partner teachers indicate that students are now dealing with increased stress (81%), anxiety (75%), depression (56%), and isolation and loneliness (56%). To help music educators and families support these students, Save The Music has produced a free webinar series on social and emotional learning (SEL). It is called “Student Empowerment through SEL in Music Education,” and it can be accessed here via their website. You must register in advance of every session. Each session features special guest speakers and focuses on a unique element of SEL, so check their calendar for the upcoming schedule.
The Sparkplug Foundation provides grants to start-up nonprofit organizations, or new projects of established nonprofits, that are addressing the fields of music, education, and community organizing in the U.S. or Palestine/Israel. In the Music category, Sparkplug supports emerging professional musicians in developing new work, sharing existing work with a wider community, bringing together musicians to collaborate, or facilitating new workshops that bring music to oppressed communities. The grant application process can be initiated on their website any time before October 11.
Carnegie Hall is known for its excellent professional development. If you’re looking for ways to improve and enliven your own teaching, you can explore their Great Music Teaching Framework, with selected videos from the Music Educators Workshops that model the seven foundations of great music teaching. Explore improvisation and movement games, conducting techniques, tips to create more symbiotic learning environment, strategies for approaching tricky texts, and more.
Also, some may be interested in Carnegie Hall’s early-learner rhythmic training videos.
Note that Carnegie Hall has just opened up applications for their 2022 national youth ensembles. Music-for-social-change program leaders in the U.S. should take a close look at NYO2 for their most motivated students. It is a free, life-changing intensive experience for youth ages 14–17, designed particularly for young people from communities underserved by and underrepresented in the classical orchestral field.
Google Ad Grants help nonprofits share their causes with the world. The program provides up to $10,000 per month of in-kind Google search advertising for nonprofits. These ads allow organizations to raise awareness, attract new donors, and recruit new volunteers. Applications are accepted from any organization registered as a charitable organization in an eligible country. There is no deadline to apply; visit the Google Ad Grants website to review the FAQs, which include a video detailing how to launch a successful ad grants campaign.
Netflix has a new show that might interest your students: JIVA!, a dance-focused drama series produced in South Africa. The website okayafrica has compiled a list of the songs behind the show’s impressive dance routines, showcasing South Africa’s rich musical culture for audiences who may not be familiar. If our kids are staring at their screens, we may as well sneak some music education, and some dance-irresistible music, into their programming.