the world ensemble

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

Ambassador Updates, June 2020

06-02-2020

At the moment I started writing this, there were about 3 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, nearly 1.5 million in Europe alone. Now, here in my home country of Serbia, the situation is settling, and everything is easier. The media is already back to discussing the economy, politics, and showbusiness. No one seems to mention how hard this is for the school system. Students are used to contact with their teachers—eye-to-eye conversations in real classrooms—and now everything is online.

The Amani Project Partners with U.S. El Sistema Teachers-in-Training

06-01-2020

As students in Longy School of Music’s El Sistema-inspired Masters of Arts in Teaching program, we have recently partnered with the Amani Project, a global nonprofit that uses music to serve youth in Sri Lanka, South Africa, Colombia, India, and many more countries around the world. We have found this collaboration to be a crucial reminder of perhaps the most important part of the El Sistema philosophy: social change. While technical excellence is prioritized in standard music pedagogy, El Sistema pushes us to bring musical competency and social justice into convergence. However, despite being in an El Sistema-inspired program, as music teachers we sometimes lose sight of ideals beyond music for music’s sake.

“Future Farming”: A Case for Investing in Top Talent

06-01-2020

Ilumina is a musical social equity project, chamber music festival, and touring ensemble based in São Paulo, Brazil. Our talent development model is to invest deep, not wide. Each year, we select 25 young South American musicians with extraordinary potential, ages 18-26, using an extremely selective YouTube audition and written application. Our hypothesis (we call it “future farming”) is that deep investment and extraordinary access for potential leaders will sow the seeds for exponential transformation and good teaching down the social and educational pyramid.

Musicians Without Borders: Rwanda Youth Music

06-01-2020

Those conditions of safety, inclusion, creativity, equality, and quality guide Musicians Without Borders’ methodology for facilitating music-making. Musicians Without Borders uses the power of music for social change and peacebuilding, working in communities around the world affected by war and armed conflict.

“No Matter What, We’re Going to Do a Camp”: Side by Side Goes Digital

06-01-2020

When El Sistema Sweden and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (GSO) began accepting applications for the annual Side by Side by El Sistema international youth music and choir camp, taking place from June 13–16 this year, the coronavirus pandemic had yet to stop the world in its tracks. Applications poured in that first day—roughly 1,000 of them, despite the website shutting down for a few hours due to server issues. That number doubled shortly thereafter as applications continued to pour in from across the world.

Unlearning Musical Bias

06-01-2020

During an interview with Creative Generation in March of this year, Sebastian Ruth reminded us that “the core work needs to be within each of us…we always need to be investigating our own assumptions, biases, and motivations to be sure that our work is truly in service of people and their needs.”

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.

Finding Joy and Connection through Music

05-19-2020

Engagement, a key component in successful learning, can be elusive in distance-learning contexts. This recent article, part of an EdSurge research series, cites several studies in offering methods designed to increase or maintain the three primary components of engagement—behavioral, cognitive, and emotional.

The Power of the Arrangement

05-04-2020

I write as ‘Arranger-in-Residence’ for Orchestras for All—a U.K. music education charity that strives to remove the barriers that young people face in ensemble music-making by providing inclusive and accessible orchestral experiences in and out of school. We have three national programs; a 100-piece orchestra (National Orchestra for All, NOFA), a 30–40 school kick-start ensemble program (Modulo), and a professional development program in Ensemble Leadership (Conductors for Change).

OrKidstra’s Youth Group Gives Students Space to Be Themselves

05-04-2020

“From pizza parties and Frisbee games to movie-watching and intense card matches, Fridays have been something to look even more forward to!” For Noah Linson-Hudson and almost 30 other OrKidstra students, Friday night Chamber Music and Youth Group has been the highlight of the week.

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