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
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.
We urge readers to look at and sign the 10/20/30 Pledge for racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in the performing arts. Recognizing the urgency of this moment, APAP (Association of Performing Arts Professionals) invites organizations and individuals to join this field-wide commitment to repair systemic inequities within the arts.
Patrick Kabanda, Undercover Artist and Well-Tempered Non-Economist; author of Creative Wealth of Nations
Knowledge, as widely understood, is the engine of modern economic progress. In that sense, education, as part of knowledge, is a driver of economic development. That’s why the idea of “human capital” augmentation is preached so widely in development discourse.
An audiovisual project called “Sing in Solidarity with Myanmar Citizens,” launched in response to the military coup initiated in Myanmar on February 1, 2021, has attracted thousands of singing supporters across the world. The organizers, who include musicians and dancers from the inclusive music education program Gitameit Music Institute (read our 2020 feature on them here), have invited the international community to video-record themselves singing a short new song produced by the Myanmar Civil Disobedience Movement/Campaign.
This special issue of the Arts Education Policy Review brings together perspectives from community-based arts organizations around the world to highlight and reflect upon the ways in which they and the youth they serve responded to the COVID-19 pandemic between March and September of 2020.
Hannah Christensen, student, Sistema Utah; World Ensemble Ambassador
Last month, I was fortunate enough to participate in El Sistema USA’s Symposium and Seminario, which took place online. The week was full of informative and surprising sessions. Before the week began, I recorded two videos that were later used in the Symposium itself. The first was a video of me discussing how we mentor in my program, Sistema Utah, which was later combined with submissions from other World Ensemble Ambassadors. In the other, I performed “What We Will Be” by Danielle Williams on my violin. I couldn’t wait to hear how it sounded when joined with videos that other participating students had sent in.
Former gymnast Amanda Ewing left the corporate world after 16 years, taking her first steps toward a more fulfilling career and life.