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.

Inner Development Goals: The Keys to Sustainable Development on a Global Scale


Most of us believe that teaching artists are the missing piece in building a sustainable future. But what if our field is missing something as well—a bridge that could connect our artistic mission with effective policymaking and systemic change? For many years, I certainly felt that some sort of stepping stone was missing. And then, last year, I was introduced to what I believe to be a game-changer during the International Teaching Artist Conference—ITAC6—in Oslo: The Inner Development Goals (IDGs).

ANIM Champions Women’s Rights on International Women’s Day


Last Wednesday, on International Women’s Day, the students and faculty of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music spoke truth to power from their new home in Portugal, sharing a short film that features a choral and orchestral performance of “A Woman’s Battle Cry (Shoulder to Shoulder).”

NAAS Audition Intensives Are Back


Auditions play a role in the mental fatigue and anxiety our students feel, especially these days. With that in mind, Sphinx is offering a great opportunity for young Black and Latinx orchestral musicians to connect with peers and prepare themselves for a career in music through their National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS) Audition Intensives.

Black Teaching Artist Lab Publishes Afrocentric SEL Framework


Last time we checked in with Black Teaching Artist Lab’s Melissa Parke, she was preparing to launch her Afrocentric Social Emotional Learning through the Arts framework. We’re happy to report that it’s now available online, replete with five Afrocentric SEL Competency Areas, interactive curricular examples and tips, ten journal reflections, and over 50 resources across the arts.

Op-Ed: ‘Young People Need Music Education More than Ever Before’


This recent op-ed at The Hechinger Report, by Henry Donahue (Executive Director, Save The Music Foundation) and Dalouge Smith (CEO, The Lewis Prize for Music), feels like the call to action we’ve been waiting for as schools recalibrate post-lockdown.

Equity and Access in the Arts


The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is taking steps toward realizing its 2022 Equity Action Plan to increase arts participation and engagement in historically underserved U.S. communities.

Stories, Not Statistics: Fact-Checking the Impact of Nairobi’s Ghetto Classics


I had to come to terms with the idea that some stories would have to be taken at face value, and then figure out how to present them so that readers would understand they were based on what I was told, not on what I could actually verify. Although many stats didn’t exist, just being at a rehearsal on a given Sunday could make even the biggest cynics question their critiques.

Teaching Mutual Understanding and Peace: The United World Colleges


What if there were an option for students—even those who could not afford additional years of school—to continue their “social development through music” journey? As it happens, there is one: United World Colleges (UWC), a consortium of higher education institutions that prioritizes—as does our field—peace, collaboration, and mutual understanding.

Seeds of a Music Program Sprout in Congo


In 2021, I started doing online research about great violinists, recorder players, and orchestras. On Facebook, I came across a gentleman named Roberto Zambrano, a great musician and educator and a good person. I said to myself: “I have just found someone with whom to share my ideas.”

Finding Common Ground through Curriculum Design


Too often, curriculum design is reserved for a few administrators or lead teachers, even though it is integral to understanding and supporting musicianship development. But this process has the potential to unlock incredible opportunities for collaboration in our field, unifying stakeholders by giving everyone an equal voice in the conversation.


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