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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.

Editorial: February 2020

02-04-2020

Justice, health and music. What do they have to do with each other? I am a family doctor and a social justice person, raised by a social justice mom. I am also the co-founder of BRAVO Youth Orchestras, an El Sistema program now in its seventh year in Portland, Oregon. I helped start BRAVO because I love music and I know that, in the Sistema world, music strongly supports children to become good citizens and self-actualized people.

New Research on Bullying Frequency

01-07-2020

We have all read reports affirming that communities, friends and supportive adults are essential to heal kids who are the victims of bullying. El Sistema programs are excellent at providing both kinds of remedies. New research from the University of Missouri shows that those who feel connected to peers who share their interests, and whose families have stronger home-school (or El Sistema program) connection have much lower bullying frequencies.

Fund for Teachers Awards

01-07-2020

Does your program work with an inspired K-12 teacher (or teacher team) who desires to find ways of forming a deeper connection with your program? If so, share this fellowship opportunity with them. The Fund for Teachers awards individual fellowships (up to $5,000) and team fellowships (up to $10,000) for teachers to immerse themselves more deeply in fields of study that relate to their teaching. The application deadline is January 30, 2020.

Two-Year Grants for Teaching Artists

01-07-2020

The Jubilation Foundation seeks the joyful side of human nature for a whole and healthy world. They believe that “music and movement, wherever and however they happen, promote well-being in the individual and the community.” They provide two-year grants to U.S. teaching artist Fellows ($5,000 a year, for two years) “who serve as a link to a world filled with more joy.” Maybe you? Click here to find out more. The application deadline is January 15.

Gen C Incubator Projects Announced

01-07-2020

On December 5, 2019, the organization Creative Generation announced the first ten projects to be included in the Gen C Incubator. The Gen C Incubator boosts the work of young professionals who are dedicated to building creative capacity in young people to help them serve as creative community developers. The Incubator taps the expertise of artists, educators, and community leaders around the globe to support a pilot cohort of ten selected projects proposed by young professionals and organizations, a cohort that includes an Arts Management Exchange, Innovation Collaborative, and Leadership Network for Arts Education & Special Needs. Check out the full list of projects and read more here.

Amplifying Voices Chosen as Sphinx Venture Fund Recipient

01-07-2020

The Amplifying Voices program seeks to increase the support and promotion for composers of color, make space at the table for them in artistic planning and decision making at major national orchestras, and make major strides toward transforming the classical canon to include an equitable representation of works by composers of color. The Sphinx Organization has chosen New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices program as a 2020 Sphinx Venture Fund Recipient. Read more here.

YOLA National Festival Accepting Applications

01-07-2020

Applications are now open for the YOLA National Festival. The 2020 Festival will feature a Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, which now expands to woodwind, brass, and percussion musicians age 12-14. Application deadline is February 3, 2020. Click here for more information on audition requirements.

El Sistema Program Focuses on Immigrant Children

01-07-2020

This month marks the launch of the first El Sistema program in the country specifically dedicated to young people impacted by the immigration crisis at the southern border. The pilot program, in the border town of Tornillo, Texas, will be administered by Tocando, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra’s El Sistema -inspired program, and the Tornillo public school district. Children living with the acute stresses of displacement and immigration will participate in immersive music learning both during and after school. The pilot is funded by NAMM, the Leonard Bernstein Foundation, and private donations—including one from El Sistema Greece in solidarity for serving immigrant children worldwide. The U.S. El Sistema community can support this initiative by offering supplies, visits from experienced teaching artists, or by making contributions. Contact: alejandro@tocandomusicproject.org.

Editorial: January 2020

01-07-2020

At the start of every New Year, I look for inspiration, and this week I found it. “It (Still) Takes a Village,” Krystle Ford’s article also in this issue, reports on the work of the Indianapolis Symphony’s Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, which seeks to engage multiple generations of family members in its El Sistema work.

It (Still) Takes a Village

01-07-2020

What does it mean to teach with a village mentality? This is what we do every day at the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra (MYO). Families learning alongside one another is at the core of our program.

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