the ensemble

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

Putting Music at the Center of Global Development Conversations

12-01-2021

Why is music almost entirely absent from global development conversations, outside of staging benefit concerts?

This is one of the questions that led me to launch two organizations in recent years, Sound Diplomacy and the Center for Music Ecosystems. I realized that in the key conversations that drive development decisions across the world, there is little understanding of the value of the music ecosystem and what it can bring to human development.

A Partnership to Amplify Black Teaching Artists and Afrocentric Pedagogy

11-05-2021

By now, you likely know about Creative Generation and The Black Teaching Artist Lab (BTAL); we’ve shared many of their resources over the past year. As of mid-August, the two organizations have formed a partnership aimed to support BTAL’s mission to provide Black teaching artists with an Afrocentric SEL teaching framework.

The Nonprofit Pay Problem and What We Can Do about It

11-03-2021

In the words of Petro Manzo’s article “The Real Salary Scandal” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the “psychic income” one receives from feeling good and fulfilled from their nonprofit work doesn’t pay the bills, and can have real consequences for individuals and their families. The concept of a “psychic income” connects to a longstanding narrative that nonprofits workers can’t make too much, for fear that they will profit from charity work. Dan Pallotta has discussed how harmful it is when we adopt the Puritan mindset that paying well somehow undermines our mission. Many funders perpetuate this narrative, too—limiting general operating funding and keeping strict ratios between overhead and direct program expenses. But our passion for our work shouldn’t hinder us from paying our bills.

You May Not Know It, but Your Next Appointment Could Be with the Queen of Paradise

11-03-2021

It was one of those moments that goes so far beyond probability that you just have to laugh. There I was in September, at home in London, following a WhatsApp group of attendees at El Sistema Venezuela’s first-ever World Congress. At 21:51 U.K. time, a message popped up in the group chat from someone I’d never heard of, Padre Miguel de la Calle in Papua New Guinea. “Felicitaciones a la gente del Sistema en Venezuela por la realización del primer Congreso Mundial, realizando otro sueño más del Maestro Abreu!” wrote Padre Miguel, “we are here with the Queen of Paradise Orchestra team, tocando y luchando!”

Join the Teaching Artists Training Institute

11-03-2021

At YOLA’s National Symposium in mid-October, a panel of program leaders discussed the question, “What is your single greatest need?” Each one of them responded the same way: “Better training and professional development for our teachers.” This problem challenges programs everywhere, no matter how long they’ve been around.

Microgrants for Arts Workers of Color

10-05-2021

ARTNOIR’s Jar of Love Microgrants provide relief for artists, curators, and cultural workers of color, launched to ensure that the next generation of Black and Brown arts workers are supported. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and open to all arts workers living in the fifty states, territories, and Tribal Nations. Check out the application process on ARTNOIR’s website, and learn more about ARTNOIR—a female-majority and minority owned global collective based in NYC—here.

Redefining a Residency: Reflections on Our COVID Year Collaboration

10-05-2021

We decided to start with a small idea: to have one of the musicians in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) join the advanced piano students in our program for a few Zoom sessions. Our thinking was that it could be almost like a masterclass, with the musician talking to the students about their experiences and coaching them on musical concepts. Our only concern was whether piano students would be able to relate to and make meaningful connections with a string player.

The Ensemble Evolves with Its Community

10-05-2021

The change you will see in the next issue of The Ensemble is another evolutionary step. We’ve realized that this field we are making together is no longer usefully separated by national or continental borders. Practitioners travel across borders; challenges are common across borders; the experiments and discoveries in one place are increasingly relevant and valuable in others. And the solidarity we need to grow in power as a movement is stronger when it’s active across borders.

Collaborators in the Key of Change

10-05-2021

Society’s highest goal for children in foster care seems to be keeping them out of trouble. But their social workers ache for more. In our conversations, they were drawn to the idea of offering children a path to rare and significant personal success, including new skills and disciplines that would change their future.

Two Opportunities from Sphinx—Deadline Oct. 20

10-05-2021

Sphinx LEAD (Leaders in Excellence, Arts & Diversity) is accepting applications for its next cohort. The two-year leadership program is designed “for arts administrators and leaders looking to slingshot their careers to executive-level placement.” Ten arts leaders of color will be selected to participate in a curriculum that includes mentorship, networking, and leadership retreats at top institutions nationwide, including both on-site and virtual learning. Applications are due by October 20; visit SphinxLEAD.org to learn more and apply.

The 25th Annual Sphinx Competition will take place January 26–29, 2022. This national competition offers young Black and Latinx classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with and receive mentorship from professional musicians. Prizes range from $3,000 to the $50,000 Robert Frederick Smith Prize. The deadline for your students to apply is October 20; read the FAQs and requirements on the Sphinx site.

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