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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.

Black Teaching Artist Lab


The new Black Teaching Artist Lab (BTAL) is a professional development and travel-abroad program that connects individual BPOC artists and learners from the African Diaspora through arts education, in order to unify and strengthen intercultural understanding between marginalized Pan-African populations.

CreativeFuture Shares Eight Interactive Music Projects for Musicians and Teachers


CreativeFuture is a nonprofit coalition of over 560 companies and organizations (and more than 275,000 individuals) in the creative industries. They mobilize members to speak up about creativity’s cultural and economic value, the importance of copyright in protecting creativity, and the massive harm caused by the global theft of our creative works. Their mission is to advocate for strong but appropriate copyright protections and to empower creatives to speak out against piracy and how it affects their ability to create and to make a living. To celebrate spring, they offer eight lively interactive music projects.

Austin Soundwaves Alum Featured on NPR’s From the Top


Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist and Austin Soundwaves alumna Daniela Santiago was recently featured on the nationally syndicated radio program From the Top as part of their “Musical Roots” virtual concert. Catch her nine-minute appearance in podcast form via Soundcloud or view the entire concert on YouTube.

Resources for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month


May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. If you are looking to incorporate and center AAPI voices in your curriculum, the organization Learning for Justice (formerly named Teaching for Tolerance) has compiled a list of resources to get you started.

A Tool for Teaching Music Listening


When you think about the music practice triumvirate of performing/composing/listening, do you ever feel that third element is getting neglected?

Two Reports on the Arts’ Impact on Community and Mental Health


The National Endowment for the Arts recently published a report on social cohesion entitled WE-Making: How Arts & Culture Unite People to Work Toward Community Well-Being. This is especially important as we move beyond the pandemic, which inflicted trauma and exposed social, racial, and health inequities across the U.S. Music for social change programs are designed to bring communities together and increase well-being, so this report speaks directly to our field.

Two ASCD Articles to Inform Your Teaching


This article in the March issue of ASCD’s Educational Leadership, titled “‘Radical Care’ to Let Black Boys Thrive”, offers practical tips for teaching Black boys. The teaching advice may not be unfamiliar, but the article (including reference material and reflection questions) by Tyrone C. Howard and Jaleel R. Howard helpfully reminds us of important pedagogical priorities.

ESUSA Offers ‘Resource Hub’


El Sistema USA has redesigned its former website store into a new “Resource Hub.” Members have full access to its items, including some new resources. Non-members may purchase items for a small fee.

Amplifying Youth Voices during the Pandemic


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


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.


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