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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.

Partnering with Parents

11-02-2019

The People’s Music School (TPMS) is the first 100% free music school of its kind in the country. Founded in 1976 by Rita Simo, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, our school has grown into a strong community movement. We serve 1,000 students ages 5-18 through programs in the four corners of Chicago: Uptown, Albany Park, Back of the Yards and Bronzeville.

Resources, November 2019

11-01-2019

English Language Learner (ELL) students are the fastest-growing student population in the United States—by 2025, an estimated 25% of public school students will be emergent multilingual learners, according to the National Education Association (NEA). Check out some free resources to support ELLs in your program.

FROM THE EDITOR, October 2019

10-01-2019

Since May 2019, a collaborative transition amongst extraordinary individuals has been taking place behind the scenes with The Ensemble newsletter. Thanks to the incomparable support from Eric Booth and Tricia Tunstall, the October issue of The Ensemble is here, marking the transition of publication to Longy School of Music of Bard College.

Aesthetic Perspectives from a Musical Viewpoint

10-01-2019

The concept of art as an act of revolution – as a means to foment change, spur consciousness, and imagine new realities – is as old as art itself. For example, drums would sound to unseen others, and cave images explored individuals’ relationships to known and unknown animal species.

Making a Difference with Mariachi Music

10-01-2019

Advocacy for culturally responsive music curricula that can be used as tools of empowerment for youth in marginalized areas has been the focus of my work for two decades. At The Mariachi Studio, we use mariachi rather than classical music as an agent of social change; but we have many characteristics in common with programs directly inspired by El Sistema.

Community Trust

09-01-2019

Undocumented immigrants share the unique experience of eventually facing the implications of their legal status. For me, that understanding developed in middle school – six years after I crossed the border into the U.S. in 1995, with only shoes, pants, and a sweatshirt.

FROM THE EDITOR September 2019

09-01-2019

On November 1, 2011, Eric Booth and I published the first issue of The Ensemble newsletter. In my inaugural editorial column, I quoted our Venezuelan friend Rodrigo Guerrero, who had said at the first gathering of U.S. Sistema practitioners: “Look around you. Look to your right. Look to your left. These are the people who are going to help you. Networking is incredibly important.”

Principles of Scale for Growing a Sistema System

09-01-2019

In the early days of the U.S. El Sistema movement, Maestro Abreu regularly spoke at national conferences. Often during these events, he would state, “El Sistema is not a system.” Yet we all marvelled at the interconnected structure of neighborhood núcleos, regional seminarios, state youth orchestras, and the multiple levels of youth orchestras based at Caracas’s national conservatory.

An American in Gothenburg

08-01-2019

Often, when we think about the word ‘culture,’ we think about the qualities of a communityits shared music, food, or religion. However, the word is derived from the Latin word ‘colere,’ which means to tend or cultivate; so when we take a more active perspective, we can define culture as ‘the medium for growth.’

FROM THE EDITOR August 2019

08-01-2019

Dr. Bettina Love, the author and cultural philosopher whose riveting keynote speech kicked off last week’s YOLA National Symposium in Los Angeles, teaches her education students at the University of Georgia a course called “Black and Brown Excellence.”

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