Graciela Briceno

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

The Importance of Contextualized and Conflict-Sensitive Sistema Programs

07-07-2021

As I listened to the episode, I had a sudden crisis of conscience: had I done the same thing in starting a Sistema-inspired classical music program within a Boston public school? Given the principal’s enthusiasm, and the fact that at the time there was no music or visual arts programming, I eagerly launched the program without questioning what was best for the community. Was the money we were raising for the orchestra program being put to its best use at this school?

Ensuring Equity and Anti-Racism in SEL

04-06-2021

Social-emotional Learning (SEL) has served as a foundational tenet of the El Sistema movement for over two decades, even before that acronym became widely known. Sometimes referred to as character strengths, soft skills, or life skills, SEL encapsulates a desire to instill children and youth with the non-academic emotional and social skills necessary for school and life success. El Sistema programs can enhance social-emotional learning through a number of means that have been described here, here, here, and here (and in the feature article of this issue here).

Share Your Time & Talent: Sistema Connect

01-08-2020

Looking for a meaningful New Year’s Resolution that will benefit children and your own musical journey? Sign up to become a Sistema Connect Volunteer and help an emerging El Sistema program, whether through travel or from the comfort of your home. Sistema Connect is a new initiative founded in the U.S.; its mission is to connect people who want to share their skills with programs who need those skills.

FEATURE: Introducing The World Ensemble Ambassadors

12-31-2018

Are young musicians in El Sistema programs aware of the global Sistema movement? Some have met through joint performances, but what about students in countries that are farther away? Do students in Brazil, for example, know of their music peers in New Zealand or Kenya?

Meet, and Join, Sistema Connect

06-01-2017

If you work in an El Sistema-inspired program, chances are high that you experience some sort of struggle on a daily basis, whether it’s a grant deadline, finding quality teachers, or fixing a broken instrument moments before a concert begins. Without diminishing the weight of these struggles, we should be aware that there are emerging Sistema programs across the globe with greater challenges than anything we might face in our own backyard. These are programs with no instruments; no access to quality teachers for hundreds of miles, except for the founder who volunteers his or her time; and, for some programs, the psychological impact of war and famine, or refugee camps filled with children who have never felt a sense of belonging.

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