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.

Ten Years


Ten years is a powerful time span for many things, from children to marriages, partnerships to memoirs; the roundness of a decade has powerful meanings. In our field, it tends to signify the completion of two very important cycles. First, it represents our first generation of students (programs often start working with students when they are 7–9 years of age, meaning that many of those initial students are now graduating from high school).

Play the World Game (and Solve the World’s Problems)


If you enjoy games that reward the sort of inventive thinking we do best, we have a doozy for you. And it’s being played on a global stage.

Integrating Kingian Nonviolence and Music for Social Change


Many are familiar with MLK’s use of nonviolence in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, but what exactly is Kingian Nonviolence? For King, nonviolence was not simply the absence of violence but the presence of justice. Nonviolence is not passively submitting to violence but actively fighting for justice using non-violent means.

Showing Up as a Global Field: A UNESCO Invitation for Our Readers


We say we are a global field. But are we? An open call from UNESCO—which you may not have heard about—presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to move in that direction.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bore


Guarneri Hall does wonderful work supporting emerging and established artists, striving to make classical music more accessible and celebrated in every kind of community. In many ways, it was a dream pairing for me. My mind danced with visions of the ways my skill set might benefit a collaboration between us. And then I received my assignment.

Introducing the Music and Health Research Institute


We know that music is a rich human experience. It moves us emotionally, allowing for creative expression, physical activity, social engagement, and sensory and cognitive stimulation. But it’s the next part that really interests us: each of those outcomes can trigger psychological, physiological, cognitive, and behavioral responses that are causally linked with health and wellbeing.

New Orleans Students Lead Second Line to Honor Uvalde Victims


Music’s healing potential was on display in New Orleans last month, as students, teachers, and community members came together to honor the lives lost in the Uvalde school shooting.

Call to Action: El Sistema USA Response to Uvalde School Shooting


We do not accept the normalization of school gun violence in our country. As an organization, we commit to fighting against gun violence to ensure safe spaces for students to grow and learn and blossom. We also commit to supporting the field through providing trauma-informed training to teachers, cultivating youth leadership and voice, and advocating for equity in music education on the national level.

Agrigento: Advancing Music as Social Action 


Music for social change is a field with enormous potential, yet one that has not been fully realized because of a central paradox: a common reliance on musical and educational practices that have little to do with social change.

Music Institutions across Europe Open Their Doors to Ukrainian Musicians


Two comprehensive resources have been put together by international music associations to connect Ukrainian musicians with opportunities for essential support.


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