April 2019

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

Meludia in Action


How to teach children music theory, composition, and technology? Many El Sistema programs are exploring this important question. At our Sistema-inspired program in Pittsfield and North Adams, MA, students study music theory fundamentals and regularly compose music that is performed by their classmates.

The Archipelago Project


The Archipelago Project’s objective is to empower student creativity and ownership by supplying musical knowledge, performance opportunities, and professional models to inspire the next generation of engaged musicians. For the past 15 years, Archipelago Project’s iterative process in curriculum design has resulted in our Musical Leadership Academy, a summer music camp focused on providing a diverse population of students and teaching artists with opportunities to create music together, learn when to lead and to listen, and thrive in the ensemble as a metaphor for community.



Here’s a challenge for you: define “excellence.”

How did that go? Did the perfectly satisfying definition pop right up? Or are you doing some backing and filling?

The Ambassadors’ Exchange, April 2019


Zohra and Dream Orchestras met two days before the concert to rehearse, eat, and laugh together. The young musicians had many experiences to share. One just came from his homeland, while another escaped four years ago. One took an instrument instead of a weapon to fight for what she loves, while another chose to migrate.

The Orchestra of Dream, El Sistema Korea


In 2011, three orchestras were formed by government support through the Orchestra of Dream project. The students in the orchestras had almost no musical experience. However, with the commitment and dedication of the teaching artists and music directors, the students learned to love and enjoy music. The beginning of the Orchestra of Dream project was small, but now it has grown to serve more than 2,700 youths across South Korea.

In-Depth Research Study of Portugal’s Orquestra Geração


This study emerges within the framework of continuing the work undertaken by CIPEM (Research Centre in Psychology of Music and Music Education), in particular its interest in the relationship between music education and music in the community.

Ten Years of Music Enlightenment Project, 2009-2019


The Music Enlightenment Project (MEP) was initially inspired and conceived as a response to requests for private music lessons, and to the identified need to occupy children after regular school time within the inner city of Johannesburg, South Africa. A few colleagues in their undergraduate years at the University of Witswatersrand came together to discuss the idea of a community music project.

Creating Musical Communities in Romania


This month, 150 children in the community of Zizin, near Brasov in Romania, are celebrating six years of choral singing. Since April 2013, when I held the first rehearsal as part of Superar Romania, the choir program, involving mostly Roma children, has grown to become a stable and sought after part of village life. The program promotes the integration of marginalized people in the larger community, using music to develop the social skills necessary for the children to positively represent their village, which assists in contradicting stereotypes and prejudices.

Social Change from Within: Learning Human Values Through Music


Social change, the primary objective of most El Sistema programs, is usually thought of as an external challenge. Addressing such challenges as poverty, violence, racism, inequitably funded schools, language barriers, and other familiar obstacles to success often involves outside foundations bringing in programs to the communities of need. This work is critical and important, and needs to continue and grow. However, because true change also must come from within a community, looking within ourselves to more reflective practices can help provide context, clarity, and purpose.


© Copyright 2022 Ensemble News