Program Design

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

Looking beyond Music: Empowering Students to Ignite Change at Project 440

06-02-2021

The first note an audience hears at any symphonic concert comes in at 440 Hz—the pitch A. Typically, the oboe plays this first pitch, followed by the rest of the orchestra as the tuning routine begins. Whether performing Bach concerto or Vivaldi suite, they will perform in tune, thanks to that first tuning pitch.

Tracking SEL Growth in Students with the Light My Music Fire Workshops

06-01-2021

Earlier this year, Dan Trahey and Pete Tashjian of The Collective Conservatory were invited by the Harmony Program to facilitate an eight-week Saturday-morning creativity workshop with students from multiple Harmony Program sites across New York City. The partnership was a natural fit. The Collective Conservatory’s work is rooted in creating environments that allow for personal expression, group problem-solving, self-esteem building through promoting individual assets, self-awareness, and increased musical skill sets. The Harmony Program, which provides after-school music education programs in underserved NYC communities, has long prioritized the development of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) skills. As a natural extension of The Collective Conservatory’s programming, the workshop emphasized SEL to create a framework and pathway to concretely study creativity.

 

New Tool for Music Educators: The Comprehensive String Pedagogy & Curriculum

05-19-2021

The new Comprehensive String Pedagogy & Curriculum (CSPC) has been written by Richard Young of the Vermeer Quartet as an in-depth tool for Sistema-inspired youth orchestra teachers, conductors, and administrators. A longtime admirer of José Antonio Abreu, Young has taught extensively throughout Latin America, Europe, and the U.S.

IIEP-UNESCO Builds a Policy Toolbox for Educational Planning

04-21-2021

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.

Nordicity Publishes Evaluation of England’s In Harmony Program

03-17-2021

Arts Council England commissioned Nordicity, in association with World Pencil, to undertake an evaluation of the In Harmony program.

Austin Soundwaves Launches Aging-Cohort Program with National Guild Funding

03-02-2021

Austin Soundwaves (Austin, TX) has been awarded a grant from the National Guild for Community Arts Education to fund their aging-cohort pilot program Mariachi ParaTodos (Mariachi for All).

Arts and Disabilities: Service-Learning in Trinidad and Tobago

02-03-2021

The first service-learning course I taught at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) Academy for the Performing Arts (APA) was a Residency in Community Arts. I chose to partner with the Consortium of Disabilities Organization (CODO) to offer my students a mentored residency working with students with disabilities. As I don’t have a background in special education, I decided to collaborate with a colleague from the University of the West Indies, music therapist Jean Raabe, to run an intensive workshop before the semester and join me in mentoring students on the project.

Bringing Jazz into the Mix in Orquestra Geração, Sistema Portugal

02-03-2021

The slogan of Orquestra Geração suggests something deeper than just playing music. The idea of touching lives (in Portuguese, “tocamos” means “we play/we touch”) asserts that we can positively transform the lives of children and young people through music, giving them a feeling of unlimited potential. What I didn’t know before teaching in this program was that the slogan would apply to me as well, and that my life would be so intensely touched and transformed.

Making Time for the Milestones

01-05-2021

This past summer, the evening that Play On Philly (POP) presented its virtual showcase concert happened to mark the ten-year anniversary of our decision to launch the program. As I sat at my laptop watching, I felt sad not to be celebrating that milestone in person with my POP family. But I also felt gratitude as I reflected on how our community has supported each other since the day we started. We have always embraced the El Sistema philosophy and encouraged our students and teachers to reach for levels of learning and engagement we know are possible to achieve.

Youth-Driven Online Music-Making: Channeling innovation through the screen and into the global community

01-05-2021

For ensemble music learning programs, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic seemed at first to mean a mandate to compromise music learning, by squeezing and narrowing curriculums to fit into a suddenly two-dimensional space. As time went on, however, the field blossomed with creative initiatives. For our programs, the crisis was a call to action not only to channel innovation through a screen, but also to blow it open into a far-reaching, multi-dimensional, and globally expansive experience. The key? Collaboration—the kind that stretches to every corner of the globe the Internet can touch.

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