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

FROM THE EDITOR, June 2019

06-01-2019

When a famous conductor finishes an artist residency at a storied Ivy League university, he should be given a proper sendoff, right?

The members of the El Sistema New Jersey Alliance, which includes all the Sistema-inspired programs in the state, thought so. So they brought in a 250-piece orchestra to do the job.

Illuminating True Progress for All Students

06-01-2019

As a Sistema movement, the two main goals we aspire to are musical growth and social growth. We often use some iteration of the motto “social change through music.” However, it is often hard to show data that supports this. El Sistema-inspired programs tend to more easily keep track of information pertaining to musical growth. They accomplish this through playing tests, juries, and concerts.

PlayUSA Grantees Focus on Artistry and Belonging

05-01-2019

This year, the fifteen organizations supported by PlayUSA, a national grant-making initiative of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, are focusing on how to maximize their students’ artistic potential while building environments centered on trust and creativity.

FROM THE EDITOR, May 2019

05-01-2019

This issue focuses on engagement –of students, parents, and families. In our lead article, leaders of Carnegie Hall’s PlayUSA initiative describe how their grantee organizations this year are experimenting with many engagement-fostering activities. In the personal column, a parent of two students in a U.S. Sistema program describes how the life of her family has been changed by her daughters’ engagement with the program.

Sistema Parenting

05-01-2019

Since kindergarden, my daughters Geanelly and Haley have attended the Paterson Music Project (PMP). Geanelly plays the viola and Haley plays violin. At first, it was hard for both of my girls to get comfortable with their instruments. For me, the hardest thing to get used to was the extra time I needed to support my daughters in the program—taking them, picking them up, coming to concerts, etc.

Meludia in Action

04-01-2019

How to teach children music theory, composition, and technology? Many El Sistema programs are exploring this important question. At our Sistema-inspired program in Pittsfield and North Adams, MA, students study music theory fundamentals and regularly compose music that is performed by their classmates.

The Archipelago Project

04-01-2019

The Archipelago Project’s objective is to empower student creativity and ownership by supplying musical knowledge, performance opportunities, and professional models to inspire the next generation of engaged musicians. For the past 15 years, Archipelago Project’s iterative process in curriculum design has resulted in our Musical Leadership Academy, a summer music camp focused on providing a diverse population of students and teaching artists with opportunities to create music together, learn when to lead and to listen, and thrive in the ensemble as a metaphor for community.

FROM THE EDITOR, April 2019

04-01-2019

Here’s a challenge for you: define “excellence.”

How did that go? Did the perfectly satisfying definition pop right up? Or are you doing some backing and filling?

FROM THE EDITOR, March 2019

03-01-2019

I am lucky enough to have been able to go to Venezuela and see El Sistema in action, during those golden years when the Sistema threw its doors open wide to an international multitude of visiting musicians and Maestro Abreu dreamed of Caracas becoming the Vienna of the 21st century. Sadly, it’s hard to visit Venezuela at all now, and El Sistema struggles with the same desperate economic and political crisis that grips everyone in that beautiful and beleaguered country. For the global Sistema community, the poignant silver lining of the crisis is the evolution of a kind of Sistema diaspora, with many Venezeulan master teachers, teaching artists and conductors working with programs around the world.

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