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

Amplifying Youth Voices during the Pandemic

04-06-2021

For over a year now, our team at Boston Music Project (BMP) has worked to develop new and creative ways of engaging with youth virtually, using music and art to offer a first step in social-emotional learning (SEL) and healing during the pandemic. Because we are a Social-Emotional and Wellness Portfolio Partner with Boston Public Schools, the district-wide pivot to remote learning provided an opportunity for us to expand our existing music to more students throughout the city. Through a new partnership, a group of 25 eighth-graders from Boston Public Schools worked alongside two BMP teaching artists (Minjin Chun and music technology specialist Josh Wareham), a collegiate intern (Brandon Volel), and me to compose original music aimed at capturing the creative spirit, diversity, and youth perspectives during remote learning. This three-month residency resulted in two multi-movement digital music compositions, “Caged Bird” and “Reflections,” released on BMP’s SoundCloud channel on February 4, 2021.

In Toronto, a Student-Driven Social Curriculum Inspires New Learning

04-06-2021

When Toronto’s schools closed in March 2020, we knew we were in for a challenging spring of adapting to the technological and musical challenges of remote learning. We also knew that students would be struggling with feelings of isolation, anxiety, and boredom, and it would be vitally important for us to offer help with these emotional and social challenges. Luckily, we were somewhat prepared for the transition, thanks to our Social Curriculum activities. These activities had the potential to be a key support for our students and staff—as long as we could figure out an effective, accessible way to adapt them to the online format.

Ensuring Equity and Anti-Racism in SEL

04-06-2021

Social-emotional Learning (SEL) has served as a foundational tenet of the El Sistema movement for over two decades, even before that acronym became widely known. Sometimes referred to as character strengths, soft skills, or life skills, SEL encapsulates a desire to instill children and youth with the non-academic emotional and social skills necessary for school and life success. El Sistema programs can enhance social-emotional learning through a number of means that have been described here, here, here, and here (and in the feature article of this issue here).

TAKE ACTION: Sign the 10/20/30 Pledge

04-06-2021

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Los Angeles Philharmonic Launches Partners in Music Learning Grant Initiative

04-06-2021

Thanks to an anonymous donor, YOLA and the LA Phil are launching a new regranting initiative for creative youth development and music programs across the U.S.

Apply for the Future of Music Faculty Fellowship for Black and Latinx Music Professionals

04-06-2021

A first-of-its-kind career development initiative for Black and Latinx music professionals, the Future of Music Faculty Fellowship will spotlight and prepare exceptional future faculty leaders, taking aim at the representation gap on music faculties nationwide.

The AARP Community Challenge Supports Creative Aging Projects

04-06-2021

Last month, we told you about Austin Soundwaves’ intergenerational mariachi ensemble Mariachi ParaTodos, launched partly due to a seed grant from the National Guild for Community Arts Education.

Apply for a D’Addario Grant

04-06-2021

The D’Addario Foundation provides support for impactful instrument instruction programs in communities of need throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Digital Promise Publishes Inclusive Innovation Report

04-06-2021

In December 2020, Digital Promise (an organization supporting innovation in education) convened more than 900 teachers, district leaders, charter leaders, researchers, and Black, Brown, and Indigenous organization leaders to reimagine the recruitment and retention of teachers of color.

NYYS Chamber Music Program Highlights Historically Underrepresented Composers in New Video Series

04-06-2021

As part of a new repertoire series for the 2021-22 season, the New York Youth Symphony has produced an educational video series highlighting the history and works of composers from historically underrepresented communities.

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