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

Safe Spaces in Unsafe Places: Talking with Lucas Dols of Sounds of Change


When we last spoke to Sounds of Change Founder and Director Lucas Dols, in 2022, he was hopeful about an upcoming year of growth for the organization… Seventeen months later, the world is no less difficult or overwhelming for young people looking to find their way. With a focus on those who are most affected by violence and displacement abroad, we talked with Lucas about the work Sounds of Change is doing to help.


Courage and Community at Ghetto Classics Dance


The river is fighting to flow through the densely settled garbage, scavenged by Korogocho inhabitants. The heat of the sun bounces from the ground, the rising dust fills my eyes, while a gang member greets me in Swahili.

Five years into my work with Ghetto Classics Dance, I am again presented with the opportunity to write about our program.

ESG’s Young Leaders Strike Chords of Empowerment


On Saturday, November 25, following the International Day for Children’s Rights, El Sistema Greece’s Young Leaders Program welcomed Anna Mertzani, Manager of the Intercultural Center “PYXIDA” of the Greek Council for Refugees.

In Guam, Marrying Past and Future through ‘Beautiful Gatherings’


Our story begins in 2000, when I first began to teach at a public school in Guam.  I had just come back from studying in the States, where I’d felt increasingly disconnected from my Chamorro identity, and I was teaching social studies and physical education.  I noticed that there were some kids who liked to hang out in my classroom during recess and lunch…

Foster Invests in the Next Generation of African Music


Foster, a new initiative launched on June 2 by the African Music Library, is expanding opportunities for African music education in primary and secondary schools across the continent.

Celebrate Make Music Day


Today is the 41st annual World Music Day, or Fête de la Musique, a worldwide celebration of free and accessible music.

El Sistema Toronto Youth Sing Their Truth


El Sistema Toronto students teamed up with award-winning Indigenous hip hop artist Cody Coyote and Juno-nominated Toronto rapper Saukrates to write and record “WAY: We Are Young,” a song that captures both the hopefulness and vulnerability of young people who are coming of age in a rapidly changing world.

Apply for the Arts for Good Fellowship


Adults are living longer, but support systems for older adults are not keeping up with this growing demographic. Luckily, arts workers at the intersection of aging and wellbeing are uniquely qualified to step in.

New Music and Arts in Action Issue Looks Back to Move Forward


We always champion the social impact of orchestral programs serving youth around the world, and part of that advocacy is a need to self-reflect and revisit our ideas with fresh eyes. To that end, the latest issue of Music and Arts in Action is worth a read.

Suggested Reading: Making Change by Eric Booth


It’s been said that our very own Eric Booth wrote the book on teaching artistry. Well, now he literally has: Making Change: Teaching Artists and Their Role in Shaping a Better Worldis an accessible, practical guide to teaching artistry, offering an easy on-ramp to newcomers and lots of good advocacy tools to old hands.


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