Program Design

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

Hope at the Southern Shores: Making Rainbows in the Time of Covid


According to 2020 UNESCO report on education, more than 1.5 billion learners across the globe were unable to attend school because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting lockdowns. South Africa was not exempt; most of our young learners here lacked Internet or smartphone access, preventing them from utilizing any of the few online teaching platforms available to them. Compounding this, many arts non-profits in South Africa—all of which provide a buffet of critical social and community services—faced severe rates of closure as funding and sponsorships disappeared in every direction.

Creative Vibrancy Index for Africa


Africa No Filter and the British Council have published a new resource that can benefit anyone involved in or interested in developing arts and cultural projects across Africa.

Music Mobility Funding Guide for Europe


You may be familiar with On The Move—it’s one of the top hubs for artists seeking international mobility funding. Their latest publication, produced with Music Export Poland, is strictly aimed at music professionals traveling to and from Europe for arts and cultural projects.

GLI Imagined Community Concert: Ubuntu Bulamu at Brass for Africa


During interviews, BFA Founder Jim Trott emphasized gender inequality as a prominent issue in the places where they work, citing data that indicates the problem has worsened during the pandemic. As Jim referenced several alarming practices—domestic violence, dowry violence, acid attack, forced marriage, sexual harassment, human trafficking, forced prostitution—it became clear to us that our imagined concert would need to raise awareness of this issue.

Miami Lighthouse Youth Music Program: Reimagining Music as an Empowerment Tool


Nearly two decades ago, when I started going completely blind, I came to the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired to learn how to live as a blind person. It was there that I encountered extraordinary young people who either were born blind or went blind when they were young—but who were united in their abiding love of and talent for music.

Authentic Assessments: Prioritizing the Whole Student


Authentic assessments are projects that engage students in their own learning journeys and can be implemented by all ages and classes in the program throughout the academic school year. At the Harmony Project Phoenix, these authentic assessments focus particularly on Autonomy, Creativity, and Empathy. For example, in the Empathy assessment, students lead the project, with teachers serving as facilitators.

Intergenerational Co-Mentoring Project


What if we borrowed a principle from our shared love for the artistic discipline of theatrical clown, and adopted the position that we were both experts and that we both knew nothing, simultaneously? This dichotomy balances the resilience of the expert with the vulnerability of the newcomer. Our clowns know how to negotiate the movement from one to the other and back again.

Raising Refugee Voices at the Tumaini Festival


At first, the participation of the refugee community was meager, because the idea of a festival in a refugee camp was almost inconceivable. After the first one, however, the community got a sense of what a festival is like and what possibilities and opportunities might come from it. News of the festival started spreading all over Malawi and abroad.

Teaching Mutual Understanding and Peace: The United World Colleges


What if there were an option for students—even those who could not afford additional years of school—to continue their “social development through music” journey? As it happens, there is one: United World Colleges (UWC), a consortium of higher education institutions that prioritizes—as does our field—peace, collaboration, and mutual understanding.

Scotland Choir Removes Barriers to Build Community


In Edinburgh’s iconic Usher Hall, the Love Music Community Choir is knocking down walls. Cofounded in 2006 by professional composer and educator Stephen Deazley, Scotland’s ambitious community singing program is now some 330 members strong—the nation’s largest community choir.


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