Professional Development

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

Podcasts, for and by Teachers


Edutopia’s “13 Educator-Approved Podcasts to Listen to This Year” is here for any educator looking to take a step back and view their work in new ways. These suggestions come from Edutopia readers and aim to support teachers as people, not just as educators. One podcast, Social Studies, helps listeners find the funny in work that can often feel stressful or overwhelming; another, Black Educators Matter, highlights the stories of 500 Black educators nationwide.

Last Call to Attend the YOLA National Symposium


It’s not too late to register for the YOLA National Symposium, which will be held in the new Beckman YOLA Center from October 20–23. The full schedule will be posted on October 13, and registration is required by October 15. (There’s no deadline for virtual participation.) There will be over 30 community-generated and interactive sessions, workshops, and panels, as well as performances by youth groups such as the YOLA National Institute cohort. COVID safety procedures require proof of full vaccination for all attendees, and one free, on-site test on attendees’ first days. Conference registration is available via Eventbrite; hotel information is available through this reservation link.

New Project Connects TAs across Asia


Singapore-based teaching artist Jeffrey Tan is exploring ways that fellow TAs can advocate for inclusive arts practice in Asia, through his ITAC-funded program Teaching Artist Asia. The project seeks to document, map, and advocate for TAs working across the region, exploring inclusive practice and collaborating with the sector’s disability community. As part of the project, Tan and a series of guest speakers host monthly online sessions that unpack the unique ways that TAs in Asia approach their work. Sessions are free to attend, and the next one is September 27. View the schedule via ITAC to get involved. The project’s findings will be shared at the ITAC6 Conference in Oslo in 2022.

Global Arts Shares Free Professional Development Sessions


The Global Arts team has curated a series of “Power Hour” professional development sessions around the topics of “Adultism” (with new El Sistema USA president Angelica Cortez), “Injury Prevention for Musicians,” and “Restarting My Music Classroom.” All sessions are available for free on Vimeo.

In addition to the sessions, the Global Arts team has shared a fun playlist you might use to close out the summer with your students, created by young Global Arts participants. Students compiled this “GALA Summer Playlist” while participating in the GA’s three-week summer program.

How Educators Are Recommitting to Mental Health First-Aid Training


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New Carnegie Hall Curriculum for Collegiate and Early Professional Musicians


Carnegie Hall has just launched The Connected Musician—a self-paced interactive video series for collegiate and early professional performers.  The initiative is led by Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect and features guidance from alums of the program and leaders in the field.

GLP Creative Residency Concludes Week in Southern Poland


In a history-making moment, the Global Leaders Program finished its first residency in Europe. Each year, the program organizes a seven-day international residency, where participants gather and exchange ideas with local communities. This year, GLP cohort members visited Bielsko-Biala, Poland.

Improve Your Advocacy with These Public Speaking Tips


Many musicians who find themselves in situations of advocating for programs feel awkward about their speaking abilities. More than once, we have heard, “There is a reason I went into a non-verbal art form!” This article by John Millen, titled “How to Control Your Filler Words,” provides tools to become a more powerful speaker.

Sistema Europe Wants to Feature Your Program at SEYO SummerFest


The world is getting together in a couple of weeks—join the Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra SummerFest 2021, July 21–24 and 28–30. Check out the program here and join SEYO’s SummerFest by registering at:

Free Online Course Offers Tools for Community Peacebuilding


Many teaching artists work in stressed or transitional communities. They may find a just-released online course in peacebuilding useful. Offered free from Peace Direct through August, it provides a practical toolkit for resolving conflict locally. If peacebuilding is a part of your program’s work, as is often true in projects for social development and democracy, “Conflict Transformation: your practical toolkit for peacebuilding” can support your work. The course includes eight modules (each lasting 10–15 minutes), with group discussions and a variety of real-life scenarios and case studies from across the world. Find out more via Peace Direct.


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