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.

NYC-Based Funding Centers Women’s Perspectives in the Arts


Here’s a bonus item for those based in New York City: The NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre, provided by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and NYC’s Office of Media and Entertainment. The grant will distribute $2.5 million to NYC-based projects that center women’s voices and perspectives in media, music, and theatre. Anyone who identifies as a woman or places women in central leadership positions is eligible to apply. Applications are due November 1. Read more about the grant and watch recorded information sessions here via NYFA.

Call to Action: Invest in Arts Education Now


Four powerhouses across the major performing arts disciplines co-wrote an op-ed early this summer about this critical moment for arts education. The New York Daily News piece, penned by Misty Copeland, Wynton Marsalis, Jody Gottfried Arnhold, and Russell Granet, calls on public schools in New York City to invest in equitable, high-quality arts instruction in their curricula. Though the writers take an NYC-centric view—expressing their disappointment in the city’s mishandling of a federal stimulus—they spotlight issues that will resonate with programs in any state: equity gaps in education, investment in teachers, and proper resource allocation in schools. Read the article via NYDN and be sure to share it with peers.

Podcasts, for and by Teachers


Edutopia’s “13 Educator-Approved Podcasts to Listen to This Year” is here for any educator looking to take a step back and view their work in new ways. These suggestions come from Edutopia readers and aim to support teachers as people, not just as educators. One podcast, Social Studies, helps listeners find the funny in work that can often feel stressful or overwhelming; another, Black Educators Matter, highlights the stories of 500 Black educators nationwide.

Suggested Reading: Of Sound Mind


In the new book Of Sound Mind (MIT Press), auditory neuroscientist Nina Kraus makes the case that budding musicians enjoy measurable brain gains that help them achieve outside the school orchestra. The book covers Kraus’ career studying life and sound at her Brainvolts lab at Northwestern University, including two longitudinal studies of real-world music students who showed improved language and reading skills that tracked with changes in their brain functioning.

Free Newsletter Examines the Arts in Community


The Community Arts Network’s useful and speedy 1-2-3-4 Newsletter provides a free monthly booster shot of recognition about of what the arts can do in communities. Each issue includes: one story that inspires you; two people who will energize you; three organizations to know about; and four great resources. Learn more about the newsletter via Mailchimp and sign up via this form.

Free Online Tool Blends Coding with Music-Making


Coding is a popular buzzword in schools, especially when it comes to STEM education. If your tech-savvy students are also interested in coding, they may be excited to learn about EarSketch. This new learning tool is designed for teachers and students alike—helping students learn to code as part of their music-making process, and offering teachers a complete curriculum that includes teaching materials and resources. The service is free to use; visit their website to learn more.

Last Call to Attend the YOLA National Symposium


It’s not too late to register for the YOLA National Symposium, which will be held in the new Beckman YOLA Center from October 20–23. The full schedule will be posted on October 13, and registration is required by October 15. (There’s no deadline for virtual participation.) There will be over 30 community-generated and interactive sessions, workshops, and panels, as well as performances by youth groups such as the YOLA National Institute cohort. COVID safety procedures require proof of full vaccination for all attendees, and one free, on-site test on attendees’ first days. Conference registration is available via Eventbrite; hotel information is available through this reservation link.

A September 2021 Resource Bulletin


Venezuela’s El Sistema will hold a World Congress of El Sistema on September 28th, 29th, and 30th. The virtual event is designed to foster an exchange of ideas on topics of global relevance for like-spirited programs and projects around the world. The Congress will include discussions, presentations, workshops, and screenings, all with Spanish-English translation. Focal topics will include organizational and pedagogical issues, artistic vision, social impact, research in the field, child and youth protection policies, and fundraising.

Join the 10th World Summit on Arts Education, Oct. 11–15


The 2021 World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE) Virtual World Summit, titled “Arts Impact: Context Matters,” will be held October 11–15. Produced by Creative Generation, The University of Florida (UF), and the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE), the Summit will welcome arts education professionals from across the world to share their learning and develop a set of international principles for arts assessment. Learn more from Creative Generation and UF, and register via Creative Generation.

New Project Connects TAs across Asia


Singapore-based teaching artist Jeffrey Tan is exploring ways that fellow TAs can advocate for inclusive arts practice in Asia, through his ITAC-funded program Teaching Artist Asia. The project seeks to document, map, and advocate for TAs working across the region, exploring inclusive practice and collaborating with the sector’s disability community. As part of the project, Tan and a series of guest speakers host monthly online sessions that unpack the unique ways that TAs in Asia approach their work. Sessions are free to attend, and the next one is September 27. View the schedule via ITAC to get involved. The project’s findings will be shared at the ITAC6 Conference in Oslo in 2022.


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