Teaching & Learning

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

Decolonizing the Music Room

07-07-2020

Decolonizing the Music Room is a non-profit organization aiming to use research, training, and discourse to help music educators center the voices and experiences of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people to challenge European and White American practices. Resources include suggested reading, podcasts, firsthand accounts from other music educators, video blogs, and more. Join this ongoing process of learning, reflection, and growth.

Sangeet4All: Celebrating Multiple Musical Cultures

07-01-2020

Sangeet4All is a music education program that connects children in India with Indian classical and folk music in a fun and meaningful way. I started the program with my husband, Shubhendra Rao, in 2014; our first students were 15 girls in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Delhi. The Sangeet4All program now runs in 18 schools in the regions of NCR, Gujarat, and Punjab.

Showing Up in Crisis Times

06-02-2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our communities in unimaginable ways. It has exposed great inequities in our society, tested the financial stability of our organizations, and forced programs to rapidly explore new methods of connectivity, storytelling, and fundraising. On the other hand, it has also offered opportunities for programs to demonstrate their resilience. As many educators say, it’s better to show than tell. Right now, our students are watching how we show up for them in times of crisis.

Editorial: June 2020

06-02-2020

On my COVID-era daily hike, I found myself behind a woman on her cell phone. At first, I resented the noise; then I began to listen. “Hello, this is Ms. F., Leila’s violin teacher. How are you?…How is she? Does she know she has messages from her music class? We are doing song-writing, and she would be so good at it…Yes, I’d love to tell her.” I realized I was hearing a new kind of musical alliance between teachers, students, and families.

Sharing Our Work during COVID-19

06-02-2020

As learning programs of every kind and in every part of the world find ways to respond to the global health crisis, El Sistema-inspired programs are doing what we encourage our students to do: we are learning from one another. At Miami Music Project, we quickly reached out to El Sistema USA about creating resources for other El Sistema-inspired programs. We were excited to learn that Monique Van Willingh, Director of the Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at Longy School of Music at Bard College, was already working to develop a webinar series with the goal of sharing field experiences and best practices of organizations that are successfully transitioning to digital programming. Since summer camp activities are the immediate concern for many El Sistema-inspired programs around North America, El Sistema USA President Katie Wyatt reached out to several program leaders to begin sharing their experiences and innovations in this area.

The Amani Project Partners with U.S. El Sistema Teachers-in-Training

06-01-2020

As students in Longy School of Music’s El Sistema-inspired Masters of Arts in Teaching program, we have recently partnered with the Amani Project, a global nonprofit that uses music to serve youth in Sri Lanka, South Africa, Colombia, India, and many more countries around the world. We have found this collaboration to be a crucial reminder of perhaps the most important part of the El Sistema philosophy: social change. While technical excellence is prioritized in standard music pedagogy, El Sistema pushes us to bring musical competency and social justice into convergence. However, despite being in an El Sistema-inspired program, as music teachers we sometimes lose sight of ideals beyond music for music’s sake.

Statement by UNESCO Ministers of Culture

05-18-2020

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Embracing the Unexpected

05-05-2020

It’s built into our DNA to think, plan, and act towards the future. Your brain is wired to do amazing things, right at this moment.

Editorial: May 2020

05-05-2020

We are living in a moment of unprecedented anxiety. Those of us who know and teach the musical arts as means of expression have been busy trying to summon music’s healing powers. We know instinctively that music is the place we must go to and invite people into, to be soothed and comforted. It is one of our spiritual practices. Leonard Bernstein wrote about this at another time when our nation mourned, after the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy: “We must make music more devotedly, more intensely, than ever before,” he said. This time is different. The context in which we are to make music has changed. We have been challenged to deal with the fact that our healing business must be conducted on the Internet.

Atlanta Music Project: Music of the African Diaspora

05-05-2020

In February of this year, the Atlanta Music Project presented a monthlong concert series celebrating music of the African Diaspora. The Music of the African Diaspora Concert Series garnered much attention and welcomed larger audiences than most AMP events. Its success led us to make the series an annual event, not only due to our supporters’ positive response but also because of its impact on our young musicians during and leading up to the concerts.

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