February 2023

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

Bridging Cultural Identities through Music


An artist’s creative process is one of the most intriguing aspects of a composition—a giant basket of sights, sounds, ideas, and sensations that bring inspiration. But how do artists select and interpret these elements? And if they really are so personal to us, what happens when we share the contents of those baskets with others?

At El Sistema Greece, the B-Me: Blending Melodies – Bridging Cultural Identities project has given us a window into that process.

A Missive from the Field: Musical Growth and Joy in Papua New Guinea


As Music Director, I was most impressed by the way students from each section were able to take turns teaching, conducting, and helping the group perfect the repertoire prior to the Christmas concert. For more than a month, older students worked patiently with younger, newer students, imparting their experience and knowledge. This says a great deal about the transformational effects of the Sistema model in the places where it grows.

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.

Stories, Not Statistics: Fact-Checking the Impact of Nairobi’s Ghetto Classics


I had to come to terms with the idea that some stories would have to be taken at face value, and then figure out how to present them so that readers would understand they were based on what I was told, not on what I could actually verify. Although many stats didn’t exist, just being at a rehearsal on a given Sunday could make even the biggest cynics question their critiques.

The Ambassadors’ Exchange: Introducing Your New Ambassadors Program Manager!


Hello, everybody! My name is Pedro Ramos, and I am The Ensemble’s new Ambassadors Program Manager. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, and my parents are from Honduras and El Salvador in Central America.


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