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.

The Orchestra of the Americas Launches Virtual 2021 Orchestra Training Program This Spring—Deadline 12.1.2020

11-18-2020
The Orchestra of the Americas is hosting its orchestra training program (OAcademy), happening January–June 2021, over the Internet. As described on their website, participants will experience a transformative curriculum that will guide them in becoming global artists in the field. They will connect with industry icons, participate in performance collaborations, and work on cross-disciplinary projects over the course of the six-month academy. This is the last call for candidates; applications for this immersive experience are due December 1. Find more details here.  

The International School of Music, Languages and Polytechnic Studies: A Longtime Dream Becomes Reality

11-12-2020

Music can unite the world, produce unity and harmony in the community, and offer social and financial assurance. Having grown up humbly myself, I began dreaming in 2011 of starting an academic institution and cultural center for the young generation in my home area of Masaka, Uganda. That dream became the International School of Music, Languages and Polytechnic Studies (IMLS), located in the city of Masaka, near Lake Victoria.

El Sistema Venezuela: Academic Strategies in Times of Confinement

11-04-2020

As the new school year takes off, we think it is a good moment to reach out to our friends in Sistema-inspired projects around the world, to share our experiences in teaching and caring for our kids throughout the months of quarantine.

The Toki School of Music: A Living Legacy in Rapa Nui

11-04-2020

Rapa Nui, the most isolated inhabited place on earth, is the birthplace of the Rapanui people, who call their island “the navel of the world.” With deep, ancient roots, the island attempts to balance its past—including difficult recent memories of colonization in the 1860s—with its prosperous growth in the Western context. In this unique setting, music has played a pivotal role in building collaboration and coexistence between multiple cultures and lifestyles. In my opinion, no organization has embodied that balance more than the Toki School of Music, which celebrates its people’s authenticity in an increasingly modern world.

The European Parliament Celebrates the Rights of the Child on November 20, in Partnership with Sistema Europe and the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group

11-04-2020

The Board of Sistema Europe invites its European Association and Network members to join in celebrating World Children’s Day on November 20. Sistema Europe has been invited by the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group to participate in an online celebration of the rights of the child, streaming live on Friday, November 20, from 16:10–17:00 CET. Colleagues in all countries are invited to attend the live stream, available at this Zoom link, and details will be published on www.sistemaeurope.org in due course.

Ambassador Talks: Tricia Tunstall

11-04-2020

Aside from working together on projects and publishing updates about their respective Sistema programs, Ambassadors are given the opportunity to receive various forms of enrichment throughout the year. This month, they met with Tricia Tunstall, who cofounded The Ensemble and The World Ensemble newsletters and authored the seminal book Playing for Their Lives: The Global El Sistema Movement for Social Change Through Music.

Arts Education and Public Health: Building New Partnerships for a Post-COVID World

11-04-2020

One of El Sistema’s most striking comparative advantages is its ability to bridge gaps across communities. The replication of this model in multiple geographies has repeatedly demonstrated the uniting and transformative power of music and its value as a cornerstone for social integration and cohesion. The knock-on effects of COVID-19 could undermine El Sistema’s positive impact, presenting its advocates and practitioners with great challenges. However, the pandemic also presents opportunities to rethink the tenets of arts education and its use as a vehicle for social change, wellbeing, and inclusion. How can El Sistema survive the current global crisis and, more importantly, shed light on how to help rebuild broken and diminished societies? What can be done to ensure that the model adapts to and thrives in these new circumstances and becomes part of critical policy conversation on sustainable development—and, even more important, the realm of public health?

Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra: Opening Global Doors for Local Teacher Development

10-12-2020

In July 2020, I was scheduled to deliver workshops for the local teachers of the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra (ABYSO), the first youth symphony orchestra in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. The global lockdown as a result of COVID-19 abruptly put an end to work in person, and as the world started to embrace principles of working remotely, I began to think about whether I could turn this barrier into an opportunity: if I could demonstrate that teacher development does not necessarily need intervention in person, this could become a more sustainable model for ABYSO and for other similar organizations around the world. Over the following weeks, I developed a ten-week remote teacher development program, aimed at empowering local teachers to provide an inspiring musical education for children within their own community.

Ceding the Floor to Young People in Crisis Times

10-07-2020

Have you ever wondered what the future will be like? Will future leaders be more aware and empathetic? At El Sistema Greece (ESG), such questions never cease to concern us. How do we help our young people become the leaders they’re capable of being?

Shaping Curricula to Overcome Resource Scarcity

10-07-2020

The first time I smelled tear gas, it was a January morning around 10:00 a.m. I was sitting in the car alongside Franco Toro Contreras, the Music Director at Enrique Soro Music School in Quilicura, Chile. Franco picked me up every morning from Monday through Friday at the “Zona Cero” in Santiago, ten miles from the school. Against a backdrop of political and economic upheaval, we drove every morning through the smell of tear gas that had been deployed against protesters the previous night. Despite this troubled socio-political situation—and the fact that I was teaching summer classes—I noticed that attendance never wavered throughout my time at the school.

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