Teaching & Learning

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

Teaching the Future

01-01-2019

The majority of the American music teaching workforce is white. This would not be an issue if it matched U.S. school demographics. However, in city schools where the general population is majority students of color, the music student population is considerably more white. While there are multiple factors contributing to this, it may be best understood as a lack of access to quality music education that provides opportunities for students of color to choose careers in music teaching. The fact that students of color do not see music teachers who look like them is a form of social injustice.

EDITORIAL: International Visitors and El Sistema Programs

12-31-2018

Many El Sistema programs have the opportunity to host high-profile or international visitors, which can be a great opportunity. In Kenya, our experience with visitors has been mixed, with some very positive and some negative experiences, largely depending on the circumstances of their visit. As a result, over the years we have been more selective with potential visitors and careful with the invitations we offer. I imagine this experience is similar to those of other programs, so we want to share our learning, in the hope that it helps others avoid mistakes!

Very Young Composers, Around the World

10-20-2017

Can the core musical endeavors of El Sistema be enhanced by introducing the art of music composition?  At the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers (VYC), we believe the answer is yes.  We feel that all music education is furthered by empowering students to be creative to the point of composing for ensembles, bands and the orchestra itself.  There are, of course, many ways of introducing children to their innate creativity, and enabling them to hear their musical thoughts performed by themselves, their peers, even by professional musicians. The VYC, a program founded in 1995, has been working closely with El Sistema for seven years, primarily in Caracas, VZ.  We have also worked with children in countries around the world.

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