North America

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

Three Resources from Carnegie Hall

09-15-2021

Carnegie Hall is known for its excellent professional development. If you’re looking for ways to improve and enliven your own teaching, you can explore their Great Music Teaching Framework, with selected videos from the Music Educators Workshops that model the seven foundations of great music teaching. Explore improvisation and movement games, conducting techniques, tips to create more symbiotic learning environment, strategies for approaching tricky texts, and more.

Also, some may be interested in Carnegie Hall’s early-learner rhythmic training videos.

Note that Carnegie Hall has just opened up applications for their 2022 national youth ensembles. Music-for-social-change program leaders in the U.S. should take a close look at NYO2 for their most motivated students. It is a free, life-changing intensive experience for youth ages 14–17, designed particularly for young people from communities underserved by and underrepresented in the classical orchestral field.

Expanding Into College-Level Music Courses for High School Students

09-07-2021

Teaching music theory is tricky. College-level music theory courses tend to focus exclusively on either Western European classical conventions or on jazz. Rarely are these two models taught side by side, as they use different vocabularies to describe musical phenomena. Both models have their advantages, but both are limited. Make Music NOLA has been working for years to develop a curriculum that teaches both side by side.

Browsing the Digital Landscape for New Teaching Practices

09-07-2021

While we have watched the country begin to reopen in recent months, the pandemic’s ever-changing impact on the educational landscape has not subsided. Arts education workers have faced unrelenting challenges in this ongoing moment of adaptation and innovation.

As a jazz musician and teaching artist, I experienced this firsthand. And I had no experience in any kind of teaching that didn’t involve music students in a room together. Fortunately, I found three online platforms for jazz education that offer a wealth of good teaching and learning opportunities, and I spent some time this year trying them out with student-colleagues.

Centering Culturally Responsive Professional Development in a Year of Unknowns

09-01-2021

In a chronically underfunded field where part-time employment is the norm, investing in professional development often feels like a bold aspiration—an item near the bottom of a strategic plan, rather than a lived reality for teaching artists. Carnegie Hall’s PlayUSA is an attempt to address that void.

Grants Aid Marginalized Populations in the U.S., East Africa, and Central America

08-18-2021

Jewish Helping Hands’ Tikkun Olam Grant Program helps vulnerable populations across the world by supporting projects focused on economic development and social empowerment, with a particular emphasis on those demographics that have been overlooked or marginalized. Projects in the United States, East Africa, and Central America, as well as regions worldwide with impoverished Jewish populations, are given priority. Grants range up to $10,000 for projects in the U.S. and up to $5,000 for projects in other countries. Initial inquiry forms must be submitted by September 14, 2021; invited full applications will be due December 14, 2021. Visit the Jewish Helping Hands website to learn more.

Celebrate the Work of Composer Florence Price at Price Fest 2021

08-18-2021

Over the course of this year, many works by composers of color are being celebrated and performed on the global stage. One such celebration is this year’s International Florence Price Festival (Price Fest) 2021: A New Black Renaissance, happening this August 20–23. Sponsored by the University of Maryland School of Music, the virtual celebration of composer Florence Price will be led by a creative team that includes Jonathan T. Rush (MM ’19, Conducting), Daniel Sampson (MM ’19, Voice), and Jordan Randall Smith (‘14, Conducting). The festival will also include the premiere of My Lisette, a documentary on the evolution of Haitian folk song. There is a small registration fee to attend; register on the Price Fest website.

The Bands Will Sound Again: Preserving NOLA’s Marching Band Tradition at The Roots of Music

08-03-2021

Silence does not belong in New Orleans. Here, any excuse for a celebration is met with a full-blown, over-the-top extravaganza. Noise is welcomed, and our best noise-producers—musicians—play a crucial role in everyday life.

Of course, one type of ensemble represents New Orleans better than any other: the marching band. In New Orleans, a marching band is a magnet; it brings people together and shares with them a piece of the region’s soul. But in 2020, the silent spread of the coronavirus left New Orleanians without this deep tradition. It left New Orleans without its noise.

Finding a New Way Forward: Examining the Sustainability of Labor Practices in El Sistema

08-03-2021

According to the Labor Department, a record 4 million people quit their jobs in April alone (“As the Pandemic Recedes, Millions of Workers are Saying ‘I Quit,’” NPR). This resignation seems especially spurred by a great shift in priorities due to pandemic-related situations (fears of unsafe workplaces, decreased pay or furloughs, layoffs, etc.), but it also seems that in this “once-in-a-lifetime” moment, many people have taken stock of their lives and their jobs and simply said, “Enough.”

After six years of full-time work in the El Sistema field, I too followed this line of thinking. Like the millions of Americans who put in their notice in 2021, I decided to leave.

Finding My Voice through Leadership

08-03-2021

The Institute of Music for Children is a community arts organization serving students in elementary through high school. The Institute offers beginner- and advanced-level classes in guitar, piano, drawing/painting, filmmaking, singing, dancing, and more. All year long (including summers!), students are exposed to different art forms as they develop new personal interests—meeting new friends, seeing old ones, and socializing through the art and enrichment classes offered here. It is more than a creative hub; it provides young people with a caring and welcoming family.

Caption TK

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Institute’s Youth Leader Program. None of the summer camps I ever attended had anything like it—a program essentially designed to help us grow up.

Register for Two Hybrid Events This Fall

08-03-2021

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