North America

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

Canada Connects

11-03-2020

As El Sistema-inspired programs, we value community. Over the years, programs of various shapes and sizes have sprung up across Canada, laying down roots in priority communities. Although each program is unique in how it strives to support the students and families it serves, we are united as El Sistema-inspired programs in our shared belief in the transformative power of music. We are also bound together in confronting issues that concern all Canadians—issues of income inequality, racism, and systemic oppression, to name a few.

Collective Action for Greater Impact

11-03-2020

I am a musician, conductor, and educator who strives to bring reason and connection to my community. This focus was emboldened in 2009 when I was invited by Roberto Zambrano to come to Venezuela as a teaching artist with the Archipelago Project. There, I saw how real community engagement and collective effort can produce excellence. In 2018, I was fortunate to apply for a leadership job with the ROCmusic Collaborative in Rochester, NY. What interested me was the opportunity to work inside an atypical structure that could pool resources and work to recreate the communal spirit I witnessed in Venezuela.

On Organizational Service

11-03-2020

The El Sistema-inspired field is committed to ongoing dialogue, reflection, and adaptation. We regularly analyze our successes and failures, and ask questions like, “What more can we do to support our communities?” and “How can we respond to events happening in our backyards and across the nation?”

Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra: Opening Global Doors for Local Teacher Development

10-12-2020

In July 2020, I was scheduled to deliver workshops for the local teachers of the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra (ABYSO), the first youth symphony orchestra in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. The global lockdown as a result of COVID-19 abruptly put an end to work in person, and as the world started to embrace principles of working remotely, I began to think about whether I could turn this barrier into an opportunity: if I could demonstrate that teacher development does not necessarily need intervention in person, this could become a more sustainable model for ABYSO and for other similar organizations around the world. Over the following weeks, I developed a ten-week remote teacher development program, aimed at empowering local teachers to provide an inspiring musical education for children within their own community.

Essays About Arts Leadership Posted to The Lewis Prize for Music Website

10-07-2020

The Lewis Prize for Music has expanded its website to feature essays about “Responsive and Collaborative Leadership” by its three 2020 Accelerator Awardees: Brandon Steppe, Ian Mouser, and Sebastian Ruth. The three essays give insight into these leaders’ and their programs’ focus on building trusting relationships with young people, using creativity to support youth mental health, and rethinking the Euro-centric norms of classical music to foster more egalitarian and inclusive musical practices.

Funds Available from Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund of Arts Administrators of Color

10-07-2020

Microgrants of $200 are available for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) artists and arts administrators impacted by COVID-19, from the Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund of Arts Administrators of Color.

Northeast Seminario Drop Party Recording

10-07-2020

From August 10–14, El Sistema USA and the Collective Conservatory partnered to host the Northeastern Seminario, this time with a special focus on blues music. Eight programs from the Northeast participated in this virtual Seminario, providing the 60 participating young musicians with many opportunities to connect and collaborate. Their week of jamming and improvising together will be presented in a live “Drop Party,” taking place Thursday, October 8, at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Check out ESUSA’s Facebook page for the watch link, which will be accessible after the event as well.

Continuing to Make Music, One Virtual Video at a Time

10-06-2020

Like programs all over the country, Make Music NOLA (MMN) was forced in March 2020 to quickly reinvent our programs for virtual learning. For our after-school students, we created weekly video lessons designed to take the place of their music theory, chamber ensemble, and fiddle classes. But these videos weren’t workable for the 100 students we reach through in-school programming—who attend several different charter schools, were doing remote learning through different systems, and, because of the abruptness of school closures, didn’t even have instruments at home.

Music as a Birthright in Elkhart County

10-06-2020

In Elkhart County, Indiana, our goal is to provide all people with equitable access to quality music education from birth to young adulthood. We believe music is a birthright for every child in our community—that the extraordinary benefits of music education should be built into the fabric of every young person’s upbringing. It’s not a coincidence that the name of our program, ECoSistema (Elkhart County El Sistema), means “ecosystem” in Spanish: we believe that the El Sistema-inspired field can have the greatest impact when we take the overlapping systems already in place in our community and build music into them.

Americans for the Arts Statement Supports U.S. Arts Workers

09-16-2020

Americans for the Arts (AftA) and other leading arts organizations have put out a statement in support of arts workers in the U.S. AftA has just opened it up for endorsements by U.S. arts organizations and individuals. Designed to “engage in, and drive, direct employment of creative workers,” this U.S.-based resource may be a useful template for arts workers in COVID-affected nations across the world.

Share

© Copyright 2021 Ensemble News