Asia/Oceania

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

Diversity and Inclusion: A Challenge from Tokyo

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.

The Pizzicato Effect test

11-04-2020

The Pizzicato Effect, the flagship community music program of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) in Melbourne, Australia, was inspired by El Sistema Venezuela. Affectionately known as “Pizzi” to its community, the program takes its name from The Butterfly Effect, a book by Andy Andrews whose central idea is that one small change can move mountains. For our students, the one “small” change of attending Pizzicato can change the course of their lives.

South Korea Hosts a Virtual Success: the Fifth International Teaching Artist Conference

10-07-2020

Every once in a while, you can feel the future breaking through the crust of the present. That’s what ITAC5 felt like—the Fifth International Teaching Artist Conference, designed in and led by South Korea. The host was KACES (Korea Arts & Culture Education Service), the same government agency that runs the Korean El Sistema program The Orchestra of Dream, which is one of the world’s largest national El Sistema programs outside of Latin America.

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.

Editorial: Virtual Music-Making as a Tool for Diplomacy

09-02-2020

As the world went into lockdown this year, most educational institutions throughout the world adapted to a new virtual learning environment. Musical classes and performances were no exception. But music is fundamentally a field that relies on subtle human interactions, bringing people physically together. The abrupt change has meant unfamiliar territory for many.

Raising a New Generation of Musicians in Afghanistan

08-05-2020

Afghanistan, a land that weaves a vibrant tapestry of cultures and peoples, continues to undergo conflict even after decades of unrest. Its people keenly feel the heartaches of incalculable loss but continue to persevere. Through this war-weary land, a river of cultural, musical, and artistic heritage flows from the civilizations of the Persia-Central Asia region and the Indian subcontinent. That river was forced to become subterranean in the late 20th century, when the country was embroiled in civil war, but it is now rising to the surface once more.

Unlearning Musical Bias

06-01-2020

During an interview with Creative Generation in March of this year, Sebastian Ruth reminded us that “the core work needs to be within each of us…we always need to be investigating our own assumptions, biases, and motivations to be sure that our work is truly in service of people and their needs.”

The Pizzicato Effect

05-04-2020

The Pizzicato Effect, the flagship community music program of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) in Melbourne, Australia, was inspired by El Sistema Venezuela. Affectionately known as “Pizzi” to its community, the program takes its name from The Butterfly Effect, a book by Andy Andrews whose central idea is that one small change can move mountains. For our students, the one “small” change of attending Pizzicato can change the course of their lives.

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