Program Design

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

SEYO 2022’s Young Change Makers


Through a lot of note-taking, conversation, and, eventually, a vote, we settled on two questions that would guide our week of collaborative inquiry: “How can we improve the transmission of emotional message through music?” and “How can we provide musical opportunities for students who may not otherwise have them?”

“Music For Every Child”: A New Initiative in Toyonaka, Japan


In the Shonai district, an inner-city commercial area in the southern part of the city, population is half what it was in 1970; as families with small children moved out of the area, the number of children has decreased. A survey conducted by the Toyonaka City Council (TCC) showed that only about 40 percent of the younger generation (ages 18–39) in the Shonai area say they want to keep living in their community, while among all city residents in general, that number is 60 percent.

Planning for Our Future Building: Intersections of Mission and a New Set of Challenges


The celebration and cheer were well warranted. But the deeper and more challenging effort of this project has been one of bridging—bridging our organizational values with the structures of fundraising and the construction industry.

Rehearsal Mission: AIM-ing for Student Empowerment


In the plan, these Pillars come to life through the students, who personalize the articulation concept in order to motivate their skill-building and artistic performance.

Grant Awarded to International Study on Music and Displaced Youth


Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has funded a groundbreaking multi-year project that explores how music and storytelling can support the wellbeing of migrant and refugee children.

Finding Their Voice: OrKidstra’s KidComposers


When a dedicated youth music organization starts brainstorming, the sky opens with possibilities. Such was the lead-up to the creation of KidComposers, a natural extension of OrKidstra’s online Improv Explorers program.

The Black Teaching Artist Lab: Pan-African Cultural Exchange


In 2020, amid a global pandemic and an extended and overdue reckoning with systemic racism in America, the Black Teaching Artist Lab was born. Founder Melissa Parke had been thinking about the idea since 2019, and she launched the organization at a time when many teaching artists were interrogating their own practices for the first time.

A Special Partnership Generates a Regional Residency


Music students from many regions, coming together across distances to spend days of intensive music-making together—around the world, this has long been one of El Sistema’s most famous and valued traditions. For the past two pandemic years, that tradition has been largely shut down.

But it’s beginning to come to life again.

Haitian Music Nation: Forging Pathways with BLUME Haiti


Access to music education can be a potent antidote to despair for students and their teachers, families, and communities—one of the very few ways that people of vastly different social classes in Haiti can meet and interact as equals. As one of our scholarship participants stated, “music helps one become human.”

High School Interns Power East Lake Expression Engine


At Expression Engine, we hire our students. Our students are our expansion plan, our growing capacity, and our future. We hire them as interns at 14, and, since they have already been participating in peer teaching, they are ready to step up. “The Engine” belongs to them, and they know it.


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