The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.
News & Resources
PBS Newshour recently caught up with Black Violin to discuss the group’s ongoing mission to disrupt people’s impressions of what classical music should be.
Where do instrument reeds come from?
Tricia Tunstall, The Ensemble News, Advisory Editor
Does the phrase “international economic development” put you in mind of high-powered farm equipment and global trade policies? Think again—it may also refer to community-centered ensemble music education.
Contribute to the ABLE Assembly, Focusing on Intersectionality, Disability, and Arts Education—Deadline 12.15.2020
Do you have something to share about working with students with disabilities? If so, consider proposing a session (20-minute pre-recorded video, with guidance provided by the conference leaders) for the ABLE Assembly: Arts Better the Lives of Everyone, Digital Conference, April 10–11, 2021. This year’s theme is Intersectionality, Disability, and Arts Education. Since the music for social change movement prioritizes the value of inclusion, it would be great for us to be leading contributors to this global field. The deadline for proposals is December 15; learn more and consider submitting one here.
Big Note, Little Note is a new early-childhood music program for families with infants. Designed by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in partnership with local community centers and organizations, the new ten-week music class offers a range of experiences for families to engage with their babies through musical play, singing, songwriting, instrument exploration, and more. The program is offered free to families around the world to support family well-being, early child development, and parent-child connection.
Project 440 will host its fourth annual free college fair for musicians virtually, Tuesday, November 10 – Thursday, November 12. This fair brings together representatives from universities, conservatories, colleges, and summer music festivals from across the country to connect directly with emerging youth leaders interested in music. Inclusive in this three-day event are workshops on financial aid, admission processes, different careers in music, and more. Students and adults can both register; learn more here.
The Abolitionist Teaching Network is offering two online sessions for educators looking to continue the work of unlearning racist practices in the classroom. BIPOC are invited to attend Freedom Fridays with Noor Jones-Bey on November 6 (and every first Friday), 8–9 p.m. EST. The workshop will offer art forms such as poetry, movement, music, writing prompts, and more to help you through the month. Learn more and register here. And on Thursday, November 12, 8–9:30 p.m. EST, you can attend an online event titled, “No Matter Who Wins the Election, We Need an Abolitionist Agenda.” Panelists include 2018 and 2019 National Teachers of the Year, ATN cofounder Bettina Love, and more. Register here.
As a result of the pandemic, El Sistema programs are launching initiatives that aim to share their learning more widely. Play On Philly is opening its resources and programming to students in non-Sistema programs across the country—not just in Philly. Read more about how they’re doing it here. Similarly, the Harmony Program in New York has developed an original series of YouTube-based beginner music lessons for learners ages 7–10, called “Harmony at Home.” This free, year-long series consists of weekly, 30-minute lessons in music fundamentals from prominent artists, including Joshua Bell, Anthony McGill, Jamie Bernstein, and Imani Winds. No instruments necessary.
The Royal College of Music in Stockholm and El Sistema Academy in Sweden are teaming up to offer a three-day course on developing musicianship in young people, titled “Subject didactics for teaching children and young people in orchestral playing and choir singing.” Taught by Ronny Linderborg in collaboration with Ron Davis Alvarez (Artistic Director of El Sistema Sweden), the course will take place January 29–31. This offering is free of charge for citizens in the EU, in the EEA states of Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and in Switzerland, though citizens of other countries will need to pay the registration and tuition fees. It is promising to see El Sistema receive continued recognition and prominence at higher learning institutions, so please share this widely and consider signing up yourself. The application period ends on October 15; read more about the course here.
Things are (always) busy over at Sphinx. Registration is open for SphinxConnect, their annual convening of artists and leaders who advance diversity in music learning. Happening January 28–30, 2021, this year’s theme will be Unity. Also, applications are open for the next LEAD cohort, due by October 20. LEAD (Leaders in Excellence, Arts & Diversity) is a two-year professional empowerment program that annually selects ten arts leaders of color to work with a distinguished faculty; LEAD includes mentorship, networking, and leadership retreats at top institutions nationwide. Finally, now is the time to apply for the 24th Annual Competition for young Black and Latinx classical string players. The deadline to apply is October 20, 11:59pm EDT.