North America

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

Teaching Habits of Mind

12-03-2019

Nearly a decade ago, I helped transform a public elementary school in Alameda, CA into an arts-integrated elementary school, Maya Lin School. Through this, I learned about the Studio Habits of Mind (SHoM), a framework for learning. Developed by a team of researchers and educators at Harvard’s Project Zero, the eight SHoM are: develop craft, engage and persist, envision, express, observe, reflect, stretch and explore, and understand arts worlds.

BLUME Haiti: Building Leaders Using Music Education in Haiti

12-02-2019

BLUME Haiti uses the extraordinary impact of music as a tool to empower musicians throughout Haiti. Responding to urgent needs after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, co-founder Janet Anthony, who has taught in the country since 1996, saw the opportunity for an organization that could facilitate getting instruments and supplies to Haiti to help with rebuilding efforts. Thus, with the help of her colleagues and students, BLUME Haiti was born.

We Have Work to Do In How We Describe Our Work

12-02-2019

We are experiencing a new kind of revolution in our time. This revolution is not centered solely in politics, technology, or the increasing globalization of our planet—but rather, it features the voices of the next generation, centered in the discourses of all elements of our collective, global future.

Rotating Student Leadership Roles at Tocando

11-06-2019

Widening participation is one of the goals of Tocando, an El-Sistema inspired program in the U.S/Mexico border city of El Paso, Texas. Students attend the after-school music program Monday through Thursday to receive tutoring, musicianship, and strings instruction. One of Tocando’s distinctive features is the emphasis on developing students’ sense of agency and ownership by giving them rotating job-based assignments. I had the opportunity to observe this process in my role as a researcher for my dissertation study.

Fostering Environmental Stewardship in Sistema Programs

11-02-2019

One of our core tenets in the El Sistema movement is that great music education can be more than training on an instrument—it can create better citizens who contribute positively in all aspects of our world. We teach our students to take care of their instruments, the facilities they use, and their classmates and communities.

Editorial: November 2019

11-02-2019

In 2019, many organizations in the United States are examining societal oppressions that affect our communities, and we look for ways to adopt new practices in our educational spaces around diversity, equity, and inclusion. To make progress, it’s critical to examine our work in new ways if we are to have an impact in countering oppressive practices. 

Partnering with Parents

11-02-2019

The People’s Music School (TPMS) is the first 100% free music school of its kind in the country. Founded in 1976 by Rita Simo, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, our school has grown into a strong community movement. We serve 1,000 students ages 5-18 through programs in the four corners of Chicago: Uptown, Albany Park, Back of the Yards and Bronzeville.

The Global Leaders Plant a Musical Seed in Tlaxcala, Mexico

10-02-2019

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Aesthetic Perspectives from a Musical Viewpoint

10-01-2019

The concept of art as an act of revolution – as a means to foment change, spur consciousness, and imagine new realities – is as old as art itself. For example, drums would sound to unseen others, and cave images explored individuals’ relationships to known and unknown animal species.

Making a Difference with Mariachi Music

10-01-2019

Advocacy for culturally responsive music curricula that can be used as tools of empowerment for youth in marginalized areas has been the focus of my work for two decades. At The Mariachi Studio, we use mariachi rather than classical music as an agent of social change; but we have many characteristics in common with programs directly inspired by El Sistema.

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