Teaching & Learning

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

The Influence of Music Education on Developing Children

12-01-2020

The past two decades of psychological and neuroscientific research on music have provided robust evidence that learning to play music can support brain maturation and the development of cognitive and social skills in children and adolescents. Learning an instrument requires long hours of practice, focused attention, memory, and discipline; mastering one involves the continuous capacity to improve motor, auditory, and executive skills, and is likely to influence the differential development, maintenance, and function of certain brain structures and systems.

KiddlyWinks

11-18-2020

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The International School of Music, Languages and Polytechnic Studies: A Longtime Dream Becomes Reality

11-12-2020

Music can unite the world, produce unity and harmony in the community, and offer social and financial assurance. Having grown up humbly myself, I began dreaming in 2011 of starting an academic institution and cultural center for the young generation in my home area of Masaka, Uganda. That dream became the International School of Music, Languages and Polytechnic Studies (IMLS), located in the city of Masaka, near Lake Victoria.

El Sistema Venezuela: Academic Strategies in Times of Confinement

11-04-2020

As the new school year takes off, we think it is a good moment to reach out to our friends in Sistema-inspired projects around the world, to share our experiences in teaching and caring for our kids throughout the months of quarantine.

Cultural Equity Resource Center Recently Launched by Americans for the Arts

11-04-2020

Americans for the Arts has launched a Cultural Equity Resource Center. Like their widely used Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center, this will be updated regularly with information about programming, resources, and news to assist all in achieving our racial/social justice goals. They will keep adding to it—upcoming is a directory of equity consultants and service providers. If you have a resource to add, let them know.

Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma

11-04-2020

Teachers working in high-need communities may want to explore STAT, or Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma. Geared primarily toward PreK–12 educators, STAT offers a five-module, self-paced course that invites participants to engage in a range of STS learning interactives, explore scenarios that highlight the impact of STS, listen to teachers describe their experiences, and more.

A Collection of Resources in Support of Black Lives Matter from Chamber Music America

11-04-2020

The staff of Chamber Music America has compiled a collection of resources in support of Black Lives Matter to advance anti-racist work in the music community. You can also find BLM support resources from Creative Capital.

El Sistema Programs Share Their Resources

11-03-2020

As a result of the pandemic, El Sistema programs are launching initiatives that aim to share their learning more widely. Play On Philly is opening its resources and programming to students in non-Sistema programs across the country—not just in Philly. Read more about how they’re doing it here. Similarly, the Harmony Program in New York has developed an original series of YouTube-based beginner music lessons for learners ages 7–10, called “Harmony at Home.” This free, year-long series consists of weekly, 30-minute lessons in music fundamentals from prominent artists, including Joshua Bell, Anthony McGill, Jamie Bernstein, and Imani Winds. No instruments necessary.

Royal College of Music Offers Three-Day Course on Teaching Young Musicians

10-15-2020

The Royal College of Music in Stockholm and El Sistema Academy in Sweden are teaming up to offer a three-day course on developing musicianship in young people, titled “Subject didactics for teaching children and young people in orchestral playing and choir singing.” Taught by Ronny Linderborg in collaboration with Ron Davis Alvarez (Artistic Director of El Sistema Sweden), the course will take place January 29–31. This offering is free of charge for citizens in the EU, in the EEA states of Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and in Switzerland, though citizens of other countries will need to pay the registration and tuition fees. It is promising to see El Sistema receive continued recognition and prominence at higher learning institutions, so please share this widely and consider signing up yourself. The application period ends on October 15; read more about the course here.

Continuing to Make Music, One Virtual Video at a Time

10-06-2020

Like programs all over the country, Make Music NOLA (MMN) was forced in March 2020 to quickly reinvent our programs for virtual learning. For our after-school students, we created weekly video lessons designed to take the place of their music theory, chamber ensemble, and fiddle classes. But these videos weren’t workable for the 100 students we reach through in-school programming—who attend several different charter schools, were doing remote learning through different systems, and, because of the abruptness of school closures, didn’t even have instruments at home.

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