Community Building

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

OrKidstra’s Youth Group Gives Students Space to Be Themselves

05-04-2020

“From pizza parties and Frisbee games to movie-watching and intense card matches, Fridays have been something to look even more forward to!” For Noah Linson-Hudson and almost 30 other OrKidstra students, Friday night Chamber Music and Youth Group has been the highlight of the week.

Bringing the Joy of Music to Children of Johannesburg

05-04-2020

The Music Enlightenment Project (MEP) is a community-based initiative in the heart of Braamfontein, Johannesburg, with the vision of a world where the lives of all children are transformed and enriched through music education.

Case Study on Cultural Humility from Institute for Music Leadership

04-07-2020

Buffalo String Works in Buffalo, NY has worked with refugee students from Afghanistan, Burma, Eritrea, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, and Syria. Though inspired by the international El Sistema model, the organization faced plenty of cultural hurdles in working to serve the diverse population. Eastman School of Music’s Institute for Music Leadership has written a case study examining the early years of BSW as it worked to adapt to the needs of the community. Read more to learn how they strived for “cultural humility” and musical excellence simultaneously—these lessons in inclusion can be applied to all programs, no matter their makeup.

Welcome Videos Provide Sense of Familiarity for Students at WHIN Music Community Charter School

04-07-2020

A sense of safety and connectedness is the foundation of successful student learning, but natural disasters can cause turmoil. The impacts of the current pandemic have upended all our familiar routines and rituals, so we must re-dedicate ourselves to these practices. New York City’s WHIN Music Community Charter School cleverly addresses the issues of familiarity and routine for their disrupted students in a video that welcomes them to their online classes.

Online Learning In Denver Deepens Relationships

04-07-2020

As words like pandemic, quarantine, and social distancing enter our daily vocabulary, El Sistema–inspired programs everywhere are asking the same question: How do we continue making music in the midst of COVID-19? El Sistema Colorado, like so many other organizations, went online.

Editorial: March 2020

03-03-2020

Institutional funders of El Sistema-inspired programs are typically limited to those dedicated to the arts and arts education. Foundations supporting social programs might think, “Why would we fund Sistema? That’s arts, which we don’t do.”

The 2020 El Sistema USA Symposium & Seminario

03-03-2020

Long before I joined The Ensemble newsletters editorial team a few months ago, I knew about El Sistema. I had read about it, listened to interviews, spoken with people inside the movement. But I hadn’t lived it—had barely seen it up close. I grew up playing jazz and orchestral pieces, but my professional background is as an editor, not a music educator. So I arrived in Durham for the 2020 El Sistema USA Symposium and Seminario expecting to listen to a language I barely understood.

Guest Perspective

03-03-2020

Two students who attended the El Sistema Seminario 2020, in Durham, NC last month, share their experiences at this super-gathering of student musicians from across North Carolina and the Southeast.

Harmonizing Across Many Languages

02-04-2020

At Sistema New Brunswick (NB) on Canada’s east coast, we’ve recently faced a unique challenge with broad implications: How best to integrate students of disparate languages into one program? What began in 2009 with one centre and 50 children has grown to over 1,200 children daily, in ten locations, all learning and playing orchestral music. Until September 2019, however, all of these students worked in their own districts, using their own languages.

YOLA National Festival Accepting Applications

01-07-2020

Applications are now open for the YOLA National Festival. The 2020 Festival will feature a Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, which now expands to woodwind, brass, and percussion musicians age 12-14. Application deadline is February 3, 2020. Click here for more information on audition requirements.

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