Program Design

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

“We Still Have Much to Learn”: Culturally Responsive Teaching in Elsipogtog First Nation

12-01-2021

When anchoring your children in their ancient Mi’kmaq culture is critical to your future, as it is in Elsipogtog First Nation in eastern New Brunswick (Canada), how do violin or cello lessons fit into their education? This question has been at the forefront for both Sistema New Brunswick and Elsipogtog community leaders for the past five years. Thankfully, through the wisdom and generosity of those community leaders, an answer has begun to emerge.

Welcome to the Beckmen YOLA Center 

10-06-2021

There are so many youth-centered programs, particularly in our Sistema community, that dream of creating a space just for their students. A space to design freely; a space to be a mentor. A space to perform. A space that belongs to, and works for, the community. Unfortunately, for far too many deserving programs and organizations, those dreams are not easily realized. What could it mean for the field if we call on our funders, institutions, and teams to truly commit to the change and advancement we have long sought?

Collaborators in the Key of Change

10-05-2021

Society’s highest goal for children in foster care seems to be keeping them out of trouble. But their social workers ache for more. In our conversations, they were drawn to the idea of offering children a path to rare and significant personal success, including new skills and disciplines that would change their future.

Podcasts, for and by Teachers

10-05-2021

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.

The Bands Will Sound Again: Preserving NOLA’s Marching Band Tradition at The Roots of Music

08-03-2021

Silence does not belong in New Orleans. Here, any excuse for a celebration is met with a full-blown, over-the-top extravaganza. Noise is welcomed, and our best noise-producers—musicians—play a crucial role in everyday life.

Of course, one type of ensemble represents New Orleans better than any other: the marching band. In New Orleans, a marching band is a magnet; it brings people together and shares with them a piece of the region’s soul. But in 2020, the silent spread of the coronavirus left New Orleanians without this deep tradition. It left New Orleans without its noise.

Finding My Voice through Leadership

08-03-2021

The Institute of Music for Children is a community arts organization serving students in elementary through high school. The Institute offers beginner- and advanced-level classes in guitar, piano, drawing/painting, filmmaking, singing, dancing, and more. All year long (including summers!), students are exposed to different art forms as they develop new personal interests—meeting new friends, seeing old ones, and socializing through the art and enrichment classes offered here. It is more than a creative hub; it provides young people with a caring and welcoming family.

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Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Institute’s Youth Leader Program. None of the summer camps I ever attended had anything like it—a program essentially designed to help us grow up.

ESUSA Shares Updated Child Protection Policy

08-03-2021

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Join World Ensemble Day at SEYO SummerFest on July 22

07-21-2021

By now, you’ve likely seen our requests for programs to share something fun and innovative about themselves by sending short videos to be featured during World Ensemble Day, part of Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra’s (SEYO) 2021 SummerFest.

Sistema Europe Wants to Feature Your Program at SEYO SummerFest

07-07-2021

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: bit.ly/SEYOSummerFest2021.

The Long-Term Impact of What We Do: A 12-Year Perspective

07-07-2021

Over the years, there have been many memorable and defining moments for me at IHL. The ten-year-old student I chanced upon playing his violin on the street, not busking for money, but playing for the community “to make them feel happy on their way to school”; two young students who took their instruments to church the Sunday after their second viola lesson, to share with their congregation the four notes they had learned; the trip to Canada with our senior students, where we joined with other Sistema organizations for a huge orchestral celebration in our shared language of music; and many more.

Although our program is defined by the powerful togetherness and shared narrative of our orchestral family, I would like to share the stories of two talented and hardworking young artists who had their first taste of music-making through IHL nearly 12 years ago—Simi and Elijah.

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