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.

Bringing the Joy of Music to Children of Johannesburg

05-04-2020

The Music Enlightenment Project (MEP) is a community-based initiative in the heart of Braamfontein, Johannesburg, with the vision of a world where the lives of all children are transformed and enriched through music education.

The Pizzicato Effect

05-04-2020

The Pizzicato Effect, the flagship community music program of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) in Melbourne, Australia, was inspired by El Sistema Venezuela. Affectionately known as “Pizzi” to its community, the program takes its name from The Butterfly Effect, a book by Andy Andrews whose central idea is that one small change can move mountains. For our students, the one “small” change of attending Pizzicato can change the course of their lives.

Orquesta Juvenil de Curanilahue: Reflecting on the 25-year History of One of Chile’s First Youth Orchestras

05-04-2020

When you arrive in Curanilahue, Chile, one of the first things you see is a large statue of an upright wooden hand. The smaller replicas available for purchase in town read, “Tengo las manos ásperas pero hay pan en mi mesa,” which roughly  translates to: “Though our hands are worn, there is bread on the table.” This blue-collar mantra embodies the economy, culture, and subconscious of the region. From an outsider’s perspective, people are humble and work hard when given the opportunity. Small sheet-metal houses line the streets, and nothing really stands out.

Ambassador Updates, May 2020

05-04-2020

Quarantine and lockdown, now familiar to all of us, have prevented in-person school and lessons for the last month. While this social distancing means that fewer people can be infected, it also means an indefinite pause to learning for many.

Pondering Inclusion in Times of COVID-19

05-04-2020

On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a Global Public Health Emergency. We are living in unprecedented times and facing one of the most widespread public health emergencies we have ever faced as a worldwide community.

Early Years Music in Sistema Scotland

04-02-2020

Winnicott’s famous quote captures the importance of relationship to every individual. He expands to describe the dependency of children on their caregivers not only for basic needs, but also for emotional “holding.”

Radical Inclusion and Friendship in Arohanui Strings

04-02-2020

I moved to New Zealand in 2010, when my husband began a job with the NZ Symphony Orchestra. After years of playing violin professionally, Suzuki and Waldorf/Steiner teaching, and raising our two daughters, I found myself for the first time in decades with time and space to contemplate going in a new direction.

U.S. Sistema Programs Respond to Pandemic

04-02-2020

In the U.S., Sistema programs shut down in early March—first one, then a few, and within a week, all of them. As safety issues were clear, there was little energy wasted on resisting the hard choice. All the predictable, wonderful energy that had been building toward culminating projects and special fundraising events was immediately redistributed into three basic concerns: money questions (Can we keep paying staff? Can we raise the money we need in other ways?), event questions (How do we provide a sense of celebration and culmination for the year’s work?), and student learning questions (How do we keep the learning going online?).

The Ubuntu Music Program: Strengthening Community through Music and Athletics

04-02-2020

The Playing For Change Foundation has been working in Rwanda since 2011, using music and sports as tools for positive change and education. Ubuntu is a Bantu word that means “humanity towards others”; the Ubuntu Philosophy is a humanist concept that could be summed up as “I am because we are,” and is based on the idea that there is a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. This way of thinking inspired the name of our program in Rwanda: the Ubuntu Music Program.

Rediscovering Our Passion and Purpose during the Coronavirus Pandemic

04-02-2020

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  One of the best known, most philosophical yet universally accessible passages of the Bible (Ecclesiastes, 3:1) sets a consoling frame. Yet who knows for how many seasons the COVID-19 turmoil will last as an unprecedented challenge? So many questions: Why now? Why was it not possible to avoid, or at least predict, and prepare? Why so many different approaches to one identified enemy? Did any of us expect to see such a catastrophic phenomenon over our lifetimes?

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