January 2018

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

Arranging to Play Bernstein’s “Somewhere”


How I wish that my father, Leonard Bernstein, had lived long enough to witness El Sistema. If he had, he would surely have been its most fervent champion. He’d have loved the way this multinational movement combines two of his strongest lifelong commitments: sharing the joy of music with young people, and striving to make the world a more just and peaceful place.

From the Editor


“Good job!”

As teachers – especially as teachers with a central goal of helping students develop self-esteem – how many times a day do we say that to kids? In my private teaching practice, I too say it often. When a child works hard, plays well, and looks expectantly at me, it’s almost reflexive.

In Response to Disaster


Hurricane Irma will go down as one of the most intense hurricanes in history. Causing widespread devastation and flooding, this 650-mile-wide storm left millions without power and destroyed one out of every four homes throughout our home state of Florida. The panic before the storm was clear, but it was its humbling aftermath that inspired me to think about different ways to help those most affected.

Sounds of Palestine Continues to Thrive


Sounds of Palestine’s annual Music Summer School started on the 30th of July and lasted three weeks, with more than one hundred children participating. The School provided students with music lessons, orchestra, choir, music theory lessons, art workshops, and swimming, as well as healthy home cooked meals and fruit daily.


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