Europe

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

An Operatic Message from Our Children: Save the Planet!

07-06-2022

The challenges of climatic changes, the destiny of our planet, the possibility for new generations to take their future in their hands—these very big ideas inspired my colleague Magali Thomas and me to write a new opera for young people.

In Belgrade, a Specific Solution to a Complex Problem

06-01-2022

Through a collaborative “Orchestra and Choir of Hope,” children from Branko Pešić get to perform with peers from two music schools with whom MAP cooperates. But Music of Hope leaders realized the students had multiple needs—they were hungry, both emotionally and literally.

The Superar Effect: Overcoming Boundaries through ‘Music for All’

03-02-2022

I came to identify the issue as one of perception. Music should be seen as a tool for building up communities, for connecting people; for creating bonds of empathy and acceptance between them. And then, in late 2016, these thoughts manifested Superar in my life. “Superar” is a Spanish word that means “to overcome boundaries/obstacles.” What a wonderful and strong word, I thought immediately.

Scenes from Skaramagas Refugee Camp

03-02-2022

Skaramagas was a place full of life and laughter, where people living under harsh conditions could still surprise you with generosity and optimism. Compared to many refugee camps, it was quite peaceful; I can’t count how many birthday parties, shared meals, and Arabic teas I attended while I worked there. And yet it was also unstable, an ecosystem of hardships and irritations—inevitable when many people of different cultures are forced to live together in a place they would rather not be. Against this backdrop, our students grew up.

Unpacking AIM’s Five Pillars of Practice

02-02-2022

Our five Pillars of Practice not only articulate areas in which our Firebird Fellows commit to stretch with their students. They also underpin AIM’s approach to teacher training. Teachers need and deserve to participate in empowering experiential learning that informs how they support their students.

AIMing Forward: Introducing the Academy for Impact through 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.

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