Community Building

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

Editorial: June 2020

06-02-2020

On my COVID-era daily hike, I found myself behind a woman on her cell phone. At first, I resented the noise; then I began to listen. “Hello, this is Ms. F., Leila’s violin teacher. How are you?…How is she? Does she know she has messages from her music class? We are doing song-writing, and she would be so good at it…Yes, I’d love to tell her.” I realized I was hearing a new kind of musical alliance between teachers, students, and families.

Sharing Our Work during COVID-19

06-02-2020

As learning programs of every kind and in every part of the world find ways to respond to the global health crisis, El Sistema-inspired programs are doing what we encourage our students to do: we are learning from one another. At Miami Music Project, we quickly reached out to El Sistema USA about creating resources for other El Sistema-inspired programs. We were excited to learn that Monique Van Willingh, Director of the Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at Longy School of Music at Bard College, was already working to develop a webinar series with the goal of sharing field experiences and best practices of organizations that are successfully transitioning to digital programming. Since summer camp activities are the immediate concern for many El Sistema-inspired programs around North America, El Sistema USA President Katie Wyatt reached out to several program leaders to begin sharing their experiences and innovations in this area.

IFACCA: Supporting Culture in the Digital Age

05-18-2020

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Transatlantic Professional Development Dialogues

05-05-2020

Have you ever been in collegial dialogue with colleagues in Europe? Join two hour-long discussions with El Sistema Sweden and Sistema Europe members in May. The first discussion is on Wednesday, May 6, 17:00 CEST/1:00pm EDT, focusing on Non-Digital Teaching Tools. What activities can we organize to warm up, to create energy, and to manage larger groups? The second discussion is on Wednesday May 20, 17:00 CEST/1:00pm EDT. The topic: Developing Groups and Repertoire. How can we best advance learning in groups, and what repertoire fits best? The discussions will be recorded and later made available on FB/IG. Register by email; you will receive a Zoom link.

Join the National Guild for Community Education

05-05-2020

The National Guild for Community Arts Education is a national service organization that supports creative youth development programs and teaching artists, prioritizing social justice in the arts. With current financial strains for everyone, they now offer a pay-what-you-can membership for organizations and individuals. Maybe now is the time to join and discover what they provide for their members: contact membership@nationalguild.org to learn more. The Guild also offers community conversations—virtual water cooler chats—about key issues, no pre-registration required. Find them on the fourth Monday of each month, 2:00pm EDT. All who support, work in, or lead youth arts programming are welcome.

El Sistema Workshop through NEC Opens

05-05-2020

New England Conservatory’s Center for Professional Development and Performing Arts Leadership offers a two-day online workshop “Understanding El Sistema” on June 5-6, 2020. It is designed for teaching artists, administrators, and those looking to enter the creative youth development sector; faculty will include Heath Marlow (Center Director), Erik Holmgren (Mass Cultural Council) and Rodrigo Guerrero (formerly from the Mass Cultural Council), Tina Lee Hadari (Music Haven founder), Laura Jekel (MYCincinnati founder), and other featured presenters.

Two New Articles from Dennie Palmer Wolf

05-05-2020

Two articles by Dennie Palmer Wolf of WolfBrown, one of the nation’s most respected arts learning researchers, plant significant markers in the field. “Teaching Artists as Essential Workers: Respect, Collaboration, and Heft” is a rare researcher’s recognition of the importance and vulnerability of the teaching artist workforce. She sees teaching artists as first responders and champions of social equity, pointing out what they need to thrive and—in this crisis time—to survive.

Embracing the Unexpected

05-05-2020

It’s built into our DNA to think, plan, and act towards the future. Your brain is wired to do amazing things, right at this moment.

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.

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