Perspectives & Collective Action
The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.
News & Resources
In June, the European Commission released a report on practices to help close the gender gap in the cultural and creative sector. The report, which includes many concrete policy recommendations, was written by the OMC (Open Method of Coordination) Working Group of Member States’ Experts; it emphasizes the role that culture and the arts play in promoting gender equity.
If you work with asylum-seekers, refugees, or other vulnerable populations, you will want to subscribe to art27. Founded on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 27), the organization serves as a platform for “artists, arts educators, and arts organizations” who work with vulnerable populations. Specifically, art27 is a network where like-minded organizations can collaborate and share expertise.
Enjoy this short documentary from Ottawa-based program OrKidstra about the highs and lows of musical growth and achievement. Produced entirely virtually, You Are Your Own Best Teacher: OrKidstra’s Masterclass Story is a 20-minute video that shares how OrKidstra members kept the music going during distance learning.
I am a pianist from Myanmar. Please let me tell you about the current situation here in my country.
Before February 2021, some of you might not have been familiar with the country called Myanmar. Because of the military coup and the spring revolution, the world now knows where Myanmar is. Since the coup on February 1, the junta has killed 863 people and detained 6,046 people (AAPP Burma, June 14).
Graciela Briceno, Foreign Service Education Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development; Founder, Boston Music Project
As I listened to the episode, I had a sudden crisis of conscience: had I done the same thing in starting a Sistema-inspired classical music program within a Boston public school? Given the principal’s enthusiasm, and the fact that at the time there was no music or visual arts programming, I eagerly launched the program without questioning what was best for the community. Was the money we were raising for the orchestra program being put to its best use at this school?
Creative Generation is calling for stories about how the arts and arts education have helped people and communities heal. Their theme for June is “Healing,” which follows the previous month’s theme of “Protest Art.” Artists are asked to share their stories of recovery and community using whatever social media platforms they prefer. Use the social media handle @Campaign4GenC and #CreativityForGood to contribute to this global call.
Suggested Reading: We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom
If you attended YOLA’s National Symposium in 2019, you won’t forget Dr. Bettina Love’s stirring keynote. Love is the Founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network; her new book, We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, delves into the ways in which the American education system actually makes profits on the suffering of children of color.
Teaching artists have been quiet, often unsung, heroes of this pandemic. This Arts Education Policy Review piece by three leaders in Seattle argues for the recognition of teaching artists as essential workers. The article, “Re-imagining personal and organizational polices as sources of radical change: perspectives from a teaching artist, organization, and city,” includes an interesting history of teaching artistry, from Paleolithic caves to Grandmaster Flash.
UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) has created a free, comprehensive “Policy Toolbox,” 500 policy options for educational management and planning based on your country’s needs.
Christopher Schroeder, Executive Director, Boston Music Project
For over a year now, our team at Boston Music Project (BMP) has worked to develop new and creative ways of engaging with youth virtually, using music and art to offer a first step in social-emotional learning (SEL) and healing during the pandemic. Because we are a Social-Emotional and Wellness Portfolio Partner with Boston Public Schools, the district-wide pivot to remote learning provided an opportunity for us to expand our existing music to more students throughout the city. Through a new partnership, a group of 25 eighth-graders from Boston Public Schools worked alongside two BMP teaching artists (Minjin Chun and music technology specialist Josh Wareham), a collegiate intern (Brandon Volel), and me to compose original music aimed at capturing the creative spirit, diversity, and youth perspectives during remote learning. This three-month residency resulted in two multi-movement digital music compositions, Caged Bird and Reflections, released on BMP’s SoundCloud channel on February 4, 2021.