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.

Announcing the launch of Music In Action Journal: A Knowledge Hub for the Frontlines of Music-For-Social-Action


When cultural historians reflect on the late 20th and early 21st centuries, one of the most significant paradigm shifts noted will be the explosion of music-for-social-action initiatives across the globe. Inspired by the work of pioneering figures including Jorge Peña Hen, José Antonio Abreu, Ana Milena Muñoz de Gaviria, Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg, Ricardo Castro, and others, largely in Latin America, the centuries-old platform of the symphony orchestra has found renewed purpose at the epicenter of grassroots transformations from inner-city Port-Au-Prince to rural Canada, from Scotland to Kenya, from Jamaica to Honduras.

Music Education and Sustainable Development Goals—An Inquiry


Sustainable development is development that takes into account the world‘s present and future needs from a mostly social and environmental, but also economic, point of view. Recently, scientific as well as economic and political institutions have been using the so-called UN sustainable development goals  (SDGs) to plan, implement, and evaluate sustainability-related  action. The formulation of 17 goals and 169 ojectives is the first comprehensive international attempt to tackle poverty, health and educational issues, peace, and environmental problems.

Orquesta de Peñalolén:  A Source of Community Pride in Santiago, Chile


The Peñalolén Orchestras Program began in 2000 as a social program dedicated to the ideas that children are most important, and that their instruments are the bridge to improve their quality of life. With a very small budget, we are installed in a municipal school in the neighborhood of Lo Hermida, the Antonio Hermida Fabres School.  Formed as a result of the eradication of the most vulnerable neighborhoods from more affluent communes, Peñalolén is a populous low-income community with serious problems of poverty and vulnerability.

El Sistema Hong Kong


El Sistema Hong Kong (ESHK) is a registered charitable institution that since 2017 has provided free-of-charge musical training to people of all ages in difficult social and economic conditions.

Music without Barriers: an Integrated Experience from Lombardy


The SONG program in Milan, Italy (with its expressive acronym, designating Sistema Orchestre e cori / Nuclei Giovanili e infantile) began in 2011, and focuses on welcoming children with special needs into its core aims of integration through ensemble music education.

Intentional or Accidental? Creating Powerful Organizational Culture


Picture this: In ten years, your traditional orchestra, with four decades of history, has morphed to include a rapidly expanding community social outreach component.  From an initial pilot project, you now teach 1,100 children daily, in 10 locations, with 60 Teaching Artists from 7 countries.

More than Music: Why Brass for Africa believes music teaches more than learning an instrument


“Problem!” says Brass for Africa teacher Micheal Nyombi to a crowd of eager girls in Kampala, Uganda at the Retrak Bulamu Centre (a subsection of Retrak, a registered charity that focuses on rehabilitating girls living on the street).

Acción Social por la Música


Acción Social por la Música was founded in Madrid, Spain in 2013.  Our dream was to put music in the service of our most vulnerable people—following in the footsteps of Maestro José Antonio Abreu, whose conviction was that “music transforms adversity into hope.”  This dream began two years earlier when María Guerrero, our founder, discovered the documentary film “Dudamel: El sonido de los niños.”

The 5th El Sistema Children’s Music Festival in Soma City


For the fifth year in a row, El Sistema Japan held its annual event, the Children’s Music Festival, in the Japanese city of Soma (in the Fukushima prefecture), where the Sistema-inspired Soma program for orchestra and chorus started seven years ago.  The celebration took place on March 23 and 24 at Soma Civic Concert Hall.

Preserving Traditional Venezuelan Music


For many years, El Sistema in Venezuela has placed an emphasis on studying, teaching, and playing the rich folk musics of the country.  Now a new article in Smithsonian Magazine highlights those folk traditions and describes the importance of preserving them.  The article, “Venezuelan Music: A Light in the Darkness,” is by Patricia Abdelnour, who was Deputy Director of Internal Relations for Venezuela’s Fundacion Musical Simon Bolivar, and more recently, Executive Director for Acción Social por la Música, an El Sistema program in Spain.


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