the ensemble

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

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.

Four Different Reopening Plans for Schools, Fall 2020

06-02-2020

With all El Sistema programs considering options for fall activities, given uncertain health regulations, this article from EdSurge may be helpful. It details the four most prominent reopening plans that schools are currently considering.

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.

Virtual Symposium for High School Music Students

06-02-2020

Atlanta Music Project held a new first for the El Sistema field in May—a Virtual Symposium for high school music students focused on “The College Years.” Over two days, and with panels of authoritative speakers, the sessions addressed a broad range of issues that music students wonder about. Recordings of the sessions are now available on AMP’s Facebook page (scroll down), and soon all will be available on AMP’s YouTube channel.

Tools to Support Virtual Music Instruction

06-02-2020

The Josiah Quincy Orchestra Program in Boston offers three new ways for students to take charge of their own music-making at home. One page helps them tune their own string instruments; another, Music Tech, introduces tools and apps designed to stoke creativity and inspire musicianship; and one directly supports special needs learners. Also, check out their JQOP Creative Camp, which offers a variety of daily online classes this spring. Registration for summer classes is open now. (See the column in this issue by JQOP’s Executive Director.)

Nominate an Extraordinary Teaching Artist by June 5

06-02-2020

Do you know an extraordinary teaching artist, or someone who works with TAs? Nominate them for the Annual ATA Awards through the Association of Teaching Artists. Nominations are accepted through Friday, June 5, in three categories: Innovation in Teaching Artistry, Teaching Artist Ally, or Distinguished Service to the Field. Teaching artists of any artistic discipline are eligible for consideration. There will be an online award ceremony on July 23, streamed in collaboration with Lincoln Center Education. Submit a nomination here.

Watch Performapaloozathon from The People’s Music School

06-02-2020

The People’s Music School has announced its Performapaloozathon (Virtual Edition) on June 21, 3-4 p.m. CDT on Facebook Live. This culminates a series of 22 events across Chicago, a virtual showcase of over 800 students.

A Declaration and Affirmation of Love for Black People

06-02-2020

We encourage you to read this recent declaration from Dr. Daniel Bernard Roumain (violinist, composer, teaching artist) in response to acts of racial violence against Black people, and join him in his renewed commitment to support, honor, and celebrate Black people, Black communities, and Black culture.

Editorial: Pivoting in Response to Community Need

06-01-2020

COVID-19 is creating unprecedented challenges all over the world. As nonprofit leaders, we must decide how to continue having a meaningful impact while bolstering our organizations to last through COVID-19 and beyond.

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