News and Resources

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

CMW Students Create Album for Local Charity

05-04-2021

As many programs learned over this past year, few aspects of our work outweigh the importance of showing up for our communities—even when that takes us away from music education. It’s even possible you’ve created, or considered creating, a special fundraising event to raise money for non-musical programs that your students care about. On Friday, April 16, students of Community MusicWorks’ Daily Orchestra Program found a way to merge their work with community giving, presenting a fun album of favorite animal songs to raise funds for the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (the students’ choice of beneficiary). The premiere included meeting pets, watching a puppet show, and learning to make balloon animals. What a strong citizenship lesson for students. Visit CMW’s website to learn more about Animal Songs, and watch their creation on CMW’s YouTube channel.

El Sistema USA Introduces Two New Awards for Students and Teachers

05-04-2021

On May 14, El Sistema USA will launch two new annual awards—one honoring a teacher, and one honoring a student—to be presented for the first time at their 2022 Symposium. The fundraising event for The Mark Churchill Teacher of the Year Award and the El Sistema USA Student of the Year Award (and to support student seminaries) will be Friday, May 14, 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT. Beyond introducing the awards, the event will include musical performances and inspirational messages and celebrate the legacy of El Sistema USA founder Mark Churchill. Learn more and get tickets on the ESUSA website.

Black Teaching Artist Lab

05-04-2021

The new Black Teaching Artist Lab (BTAL) is a professional development and travel-abroad program that connects individual BPOC artists and learners from the African Diaspora through arts education, in order to unify and strengthen intercultural understanding between marginalized Pan-African populations.

CreativeFuture Shares Eight Interactive Music Projects for Musicians and Teachers

05-04-2021

CreativeFuture is a nonprofit coalition of over 560 companies and organizations (and more than 275,000 individuals) in the creative industries. They mobilize members to speak up about creativity’s cultural and economic value, the importance of copyright in protecting creativity, and the massive harm caused by the global theft of our creative works. Their mission is to advocate for strong but appropriate copyright protections and to empower creatives to speak out against piracy and how it affects their ability to create and to make a living. To celebrate spring, they offer eight lively interactive music projects.

Austin Soundwaves Alum Featured on NPR’s From the Top

05-04-2021

Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist and Austin Soundwaves alumna Daniela Santiago was recently featured on the nationally syndicated radio program From the Top as part of their “Musical Roots” virtual concert. Catch her nine-minute appearance in podcast form via Soundcloud or view the entire concert on YouTube.

Resources for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

05-04-2021

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. If you are looking to incorporate and center AAPI voices in your curriculum, the organization Learning for Justice (formerly named Teaching for Tolerance) has compiled a list of resources to get you started.

A Tool for Teaching Music Listening

05-04-2021

When you think about the music practice triumvirate of performing/composing/listening, do you ever feel that third element is getting neglected?

Two Reports on the Arts’ Impact on Community and Mental Health

05-04-2021

The National Endowment for the Arts recently published a report on social cohesion entitled WE-Making: How Arts & Culture Unite People to Work Toward Community Well-Being. This is especially important as we move beyond the pandemic, which inflicted trauma and exposed social, racial, and health inequities across the U.S. Music for social change programs are designed to bring communities together and increase well-being, so this report speaks directly to our field.

Two ASCD Articles to Inform Your Teaching

05-04-2021

This article in the March issue of ASCD’s Educational Leadership, titled “‘Radical Care’ to Let Black Boys Thrive”, offers practical tips for teaching Black boys. The teaching advice may not be unfamiliar, but the article (including reference material and reflection questions) by Tyrone C. Howard and Jaleel R. Howard helpfully reminds us of important pedagogical priorities.

ESUSA Offers ‘Resource Hub’

05-04-2021

El Sistema USA has redesigned its former website store into a new “Resource Hub.” Members have full access to its items, including some new resources. Non-members may purchase items for a small fee.

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