Europe

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

AIMing Forward: Introducing the Academy for Impact in Music

01-05-2022

The global field of music for social change is committed, smart, resilient, and brimming with talented teachers, administrators, and students—that’s a lot of assets! But it isn’t organized to learn well and get better as a field. Indeed, as I traveled during the past decade to 25 countries to observe good programs in action, I consistently heard that their two greatest challenges were finances and faculty. These problems haven’t been getting better.

Opening Doors at Sistema Cyprus

12-01-2021

From moment one, the children were eager to hold an instrument in their hands and make their first attempts at producing sound. Before long, we needed more space to hold multiple lessons concurrently. That need led us outside; our cellists took to the streets for their lessons. Passersby were fascinated to see these local kids playing beautifully right in front of them and began asking about the music project. We found another room to host lessons soon enough, but our time rehearsing outside led us to an important realization: maybe we should keep the doors open more often.

You May Not Know It, but Your Next Appointment Could Be with the Queen of Paradise

11-03-2021

It was one of those moments that goes so far beyond probability that you just have to laugh. There I was in September, at home in London, following a WhatsApp group of attendees at El Sistema Venezuela’s first-ever World Congress. At 21:51 U.K. time, a message popped up in the group chat from someone I’d never heard of, Padre Miguel de la Calle in Papua New Guinea. “Felicitaciones a la gente del Sistema en Venezuela por la realización del primer Congreso Mundial, realizando otro sueño más del Maestro Abreu!” wrote Padre Miguel, “we are here with the Queen of Paradise Orchestra team, tocando y luchando!”

The Irish Chamber Orchestra ‘Sings Out with Strings’

10-06-2021

Sing Out with Strings built upon this vision, with a view to immerse the Irish Chamber Orchestra in the local community by providing access to free music lessons to students in disadvantaged areas of Limerick. We began in 2008, when there was a lot of social unrest in the city of Limerick. John Kelly, ICO’s then-CEO, was inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema program, and began to forge the way for ICO to make a real and lasting difference in Limerick communities.

Emergency Workers Relieve Stress by Making Music

09-01-2021

In the U.K. organization Mind’s most recent Blue Light Report, 69% of emergency responders shared that their mental health has deteriorated as a result of the pandemic; ambulance staff were the likeliest to say this, at 77%. Additionally, 87% of respondents said not being able to see friends or family during the pandemic has impacted on their mental health, while 69% said that passing coronavirus to their loved ones is a significant worry or concern. Mind also found that emergency workers held strong concerns about burnout and PTSD. Clearly, there is a demand among ES workers for tailored, preventative support that empowers them to seek and receive help.

Growing Seeds in Tetuán

08-04-2021

Turina Youth Orchestra of Acción por la Música Foundation is a clear example of how values of the human spirit can be developed through music. It is here that, through orchestral rehearsals, resilience, trust, social justice, kindness, beauty, and compassion grow.

EU Shares Report on Gender Inequality in the Cultural Sector

07-21-2021

In June, the European Commission released a report on practices to help close the gender gap in the cultural and creative sector. The report, which includes many concrete policy recommendations, was written by the OMC (Open Method of Coordination) Working Group of Member States’ Experts; it emphasizes the role that culture and the arts play in promoting gender equity.

GLP Creative Residency Concludes Week in Southern Poland

07-21-2021

In a history-making moment, the Global Leaders Program finished its first residency in Europe. Each year, the program organizes a seven-day international residency, where participants gather and exchange ideas with local communities. This year, GLP cohort members visited Bielsko-Biala, Poland.

The Long-Term Impact of What We Do: A 12-Year Perspective

07-07-2021

Over the years, there have been many memorable and defining moments for me at IHL. The ten-year-old student I chanced upon playing his violin on the street, not busking for money, but playing for the community “to make them feel happy on their way to school”; two young students who took their instruments to church the Sunday after their second viola lesson, to share with their congregation the four notes they had learned; the trip to Canada with our senior students, where we joined with other Sistema organizations for a huge orchestral celebration in our shared language of music; and many more.

Although our program is defined by the powerful togetherness and shared narrative of our orchestral family, I would like to share the stories of two talented and hardworking young artists who had their first taste of music-making through IHL nearly 12 years ago—Simi and Elijah.

Big News from El Sistema Greece

06-16-2021

On July 5, the young musicians of the El Sistema Greece Youth Orchestra and Youth Choir will take the historic stage of the Herodion, tucked just under the Parthenon in Athens. Alongside Blend Mishkin and his reggae-soul band and other musicians, they will perform world-famous melodies at the Athens Epidaurus Festival, celebrating the songs that have most greatly impacted the modern music scene. After a year and a half without live performances, they can’t wait.

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