Perspectives & Collective Action

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

Amplifying Youth Voices during the Pandemic

04-06-2021

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.

TAKE ACTION: Sign the 10/20/30 Pledge

04-06-2021

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Arts Education and Human Capability

03-03-2021

Knowledge, as widely understood, is the engine of modern economic progress. In that sense, education, as part of knowledge, is a driver of economic development. That’s why the idea of “human capital” augmentation is preached so widely in development discourse.

Call to Action: Sing in Solidarity with Our Myanmar Colleagues

03-03-2021

An audiovisual project called “Sing in Solidarity with Myanmar Citizens,” launched in response to the military coup initiated in Myanmar on February 1, 2021, has attracted thousands of singing supporters across the world. The organizers, who include musicians and dancers from the inclusive music education program Gitameit Music Institute (read our 2020 feature on them here), have invited the international community to video-record themselves singing a short new song produced by the Myanmar Civil Disobedience Movement/Campaign.

Arts Education Policy Review Publishes Special Issue on Community Arts Organizations

03-02-2021

This special issue of the Arts Education Policy Review brings together perspectives from community-based arts organizations around the world to highlight and reflect upon the ways in which they and the youth they serve responded to the COVID-19 pandemic between March and September of 2020.

The Seminario, through a Student’s Eyes

03-02-2021

Last month, I was fortunate enough to participate in El Sistema USA’s Symposium and Seminario, which took place online. The week was full of informative and surprising sessions. Before the week began, I recorded two videos that were later used in the Symposium itself. The first was a video of me discussing how we mentor in my program, Sistema Utah, which was later combined with submissions from other World Ensemble Ambassadors. In the other, I performed “What We Will Be” by Danielle Williams on my violin. I couldn’t wait to hear how it sounded when joined with videos that other participating students had sent in.

Former Gymnast Forges a New Path Building Violins

03-01-2021

Former gymnast Amanda Ewing left the corporate world after 16 years, taking her first steps toward a more fulfilling career and life.

2021: A New Chapter in Our Work Begins

02-03-2021

Does the phrase “international economic development” put you in mind of high-powered farm equipment and global trade policies? Think again—it may also refer to community-centered ensemble music education.

Youth Voices: The ChiMOP Alumni Internship Program

02-02-2021

During the fall of 2020, I participated in the Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project’s (ChiMOP) new Alumni Internship Program (CAIP). CAIP was designed to offer recent ChiMOP graduates hands-on leadership experience during program hours as well as introductory-level job experience behind the scenes—helping staff with everything from lesson planning to administrative tasks. I signed up to gain experience, having never done anything like it before (unless you count trying to teach small groups of little ones while still a student myself). At first, it was a difficult adjustment. I worried that it would be a lot of work that didn’t come naturally to me. But despite some early struggles, I had a good time doing it—especially sharing the experience with the other interns.

Imagining New Orchestra Partnerships

02-02-2021

During this time of profound disruption, music for social change organizations have the opportunity to explore new possibilities for collaboration with professional orchestras. This is easier for some than others; not every city has both an orchestra and a social change program. The Pittsburgh Symphony, for example, does not have an El Sistema program in the city—but through their Learning and Community Engagement Department, they have collaborated with many local youth programs.

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