Asia/Oceania

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

A Letter from Myanmar to Our International Community

07-07-2021

I am a pianist from Myanmar. Please let me tell you about the current situation here in my country.

Before February 2021, some of you might not have been familiar with the country called Myanmar. Because of the military coup and the spring revolution, the world now knows where Myanmar is. Since the coup on February 1, the junta has killed 863 people and detained 6,046 people (AAPP Burma, June 14).

Treasures within a UNESCO Report

06-02-2021

I earned my M.A. degree in educational policy studies from the Institute of Education, University of London (now University College London) a quarter-century ago. In the same year, a seminal report called Learning: The Treasure Within (the Delors Report) was published by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), where I started my United Nations career two years later. This is one of many texts that have made a huge impact on my life; it is always a source of inspiration when it comes to education and learning. Although the Report has been influential among educators, I’ve come to recognize that it is not well known in the sphere of music education, let alone the art and music world in general.

World Children’s Music Festival 2021 in Tokyo: Let’s Play, Sing, and Strive

04-07-2021

Back in 2018, the Friends of El Sistema Japan organization made a plan to host a “World Children’s Music Festival” in Tokyo in April 2020. Of course, the pandemic made this plan impossible. But the organization was determined to make it happen in 2021.

Call to Action: Young People in Afghanistan Need Our Support

03-17-2021

The government of Afghanistan recently announced new regulations that take away the right for young people to sing.

Call to Action: Sing in Solidarity with Our Myanmar Colleagues

03-03-2021

An audiovisual project called “Sing in Solidarity with Myanmar Citizens,” launched in response to the military coup initiated in Myanmar on February 1, 2021, has attracted thousands of singing supporters across the world. The organizers, who include musicians and dancers from the inclusive music education program Gitameit Music Institute (read our 2020 feature on them here), have invited the international community to video-record themselves singing a short new song produced by the Myanmar Civil Disobedience Movement/Campaign.

The Learning behind NEO-Learning

02-03-2021

In the semi-remote town of Roebourne in the Pilbara region of the Western Australian Desert, the lack of attainment of Aboriginal young people in the Western education system does not reflect their place-based cultural literacies, which completely outstrip their city-based counterparts from Australia’s most successful schools, suburbs, and socio-economic cultures. They are so advanced and so advantaged in many Indigenous knowledge banks—over which their families and Elders are custodians—that they revel, often unknowingly (or the knowing is suppressed) in a unique cultural advantage.

Diversity and Inclusion: A Challenge from Tokyo, Japan

01-06-2021

Tokyo White Hands Chorus (TWHC) is a socially inclusive choral group based in Tokyo. Although we initially started with the singing group, comprised of hearing impaired and challenged children, the group now also includes a vocal group of visually impaired and challenged children.

The Toki School of Music: A Living Legacy in Rapa Nui

11-04-2020

Rapa Nui, the most isolated inhabited place on earth, is the birthplace of the Rapanui people, who call their island “the navel of the world.” With deep, ancient roots, the island attempts to balance its past—including difficult recent memories of colonization in the 1860s—with its prosperous growth in the Western context. In this unique setting, music has played a pivotal role in building collaboration and coexistence between multiple cultures and lifestyles. In my opinion, no organization has embodied that balance more than the Toki School of Music, which celebrates its people’s authenticity in an increasingly modern world.

Crisis Relief Grants

09-18-2020

With funding support from the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts, the Support Act has expanded its services to offer Crisis Relief to music industry professionals impacted by COVID-19. Musicians and arts workers were hit hard by the pandemic, and these grants are an opportunity to help those still working to make ends meet. There is no deadline to apply; please share with any Australian musicians or music workers you know. Click here to learn more.

From Lapu-Lapu to Toledo: The Influence of El Sistema in Cebu, Philippines

09-02-2020

Most of The World Ensemble reporting for the Philippines thus far has been about the Sistema-based program Ang Misyon in Manila, the Philippine capital. Unbeknownst to many—including myself, I must confess—there are many other robust Sistema-based programs all over the country that are equally worthy of feature but have not yet been given due visibility. In this article, I feature five such programs in Cebu, the place I call home. It is my hope that my writing this will pave the way for more equitable coverage.

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