The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.
News & Resources
The fifth annual El Sistema Academy will happen online on January 30 and 31 and is free to all. El Sistema educators and colleagues across the globe will convene to discuss this year’s theme, “Motivation”—motivating students, teams, audiences, and more. Registration closes on January 27. Use this Google Form to register for this year’s session, and learn more about last year’s Academy in this 2019 World Ensemble post.
Here is a chance to better understand the global context within which our programs grow. The 2020 Compendium of Music as a Global Resource: Solutions for Cultural, Social, Health, Educational, Environmental, and Economic Issues profiles 109 projects from 54 countries, linking them to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to providing key insights into programs around the world, the Compendium affirms the size, ambition, and effectiveness of our wide movement. Read the Compendium on their website to expand your perspective and discover the ways in which music learning fits into the UN’s vision of sustainability.
The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation want to support Latinx artists and arts organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Their Actos de Confianza relief grants provide emergency funds to these organizations, one geographical region at a time. The first calls are for programs in mid-America, moving then to the East and West Coasts. The funding cycle will take place between January and May 2021. If your organization qualifies, be sure to review the application information on their website. In addition to listing all relevant deadlines, it includes information on which states qualify for which regions.
The Global Leaders Program is hosting a free virtual conference called “Sound Cities: Community Music Ecosystems” as part of its (Re)Setting the Stage series. Kicking off on January 18, the conference brings together interesting perspectives from city planners, music entrepreneurs, and cultural agency workers, who will discuss the roles they play in communities all over the world. Specifically, the conference explores how the arts have had a significant impact on urban development. There are sessions on January 20, January 27, and February 4, focusing on different countries and the impacts of their artistic communities. Check out their Zoom registration page to learn more, including how to sign up.
Songs for Europe is a new web tool for musical pedagogy practice and teacher training, using technology to assess the effectiveness of choral instruction and orchestral studies. Its performance evaluation tool can measure student attentiveness, performance, and engagement levels to maximize teaching impact. Teaching artists from Austria, Greece, Slovakia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are participating in the initiative by implementing these tools in their work. Results and outcomes are made public in an archived online library; check out the methodology and library on their website.
Symphony is a new virtual reality film that offers a chance to experience classical music in a new way. Integrating two films by Igor Cortadellas, the project features Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in addition to 41 young people—making an ensemble of 101 people from 22 countries, performing pieces by Mahler, Beethoven, and Bernstein. The young musicians came together from Venezuela, Sweden, Spain, Argentina, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Colombia, and the U.S. for a two-day leadership development seminario in Spain in 2019. The film experience is presented in two specially outfitted mobile pop-up cinemas. The first film explores the power of music in three young musicians’ lives, in Colombia, New York, and on the Mediterranean coast; the second film is the immersive VR journey inside the orchestral experience. Symphony will tour the world for ten years, spending its first year in dozens of cities and towns in Portugal and Spain. If you are interested in possibly hosting a visit, write: email@example.com. This project comes from a partnership between the Dudamel Foundation (co-chaired by Dudamel and his wife, actress María Valverde) and “la Caixa” Foundation. Its goal is to provide a new way to excite people, especially young people, about the power and beauty of orchestral music.
The Aim High Grant supports out-of-school programs serving middle school youth in the U.S. Aim High works with eighth graders in need of significant economic support, helping them succeed in high school by supporting after-school, summer, and expanded learning programs. Programs must serve at least 75% low-income youth. One-year grants of $15,000 will support programs in their racial equity and social justice efforts; two-year grants ($50,000 or $100,000) will support programs in expanding direct services, technical assistance, and capacity amid pandemic challenges and beyond. The program is funded by the New York Life Foundation (administered by the Afterschool Alliance), and the application deadline is February 1, 2021. Learn more on the Afterschool Alliance website.
The Teaching Artist Guild offers a free professional development series addressing topics that are pertinent to music for social change teachers around the world. The “Youth Right Now = Truth Right Now: Listening to Young Artists” series will begin with a session titled “Adultism vs. Youth Voice” on Wednesday, January 20, 4:30–6:00 p.m. EST in the U.S. Youth artists will unpack the effects of adultist behavior on their lives and invite participants/practitioners to reimagine and adopt new ways of engaging with youth.
If you are an arts organization that works with juvenile incarcerated populations, consider joining a conversation about the intersection of the arts and juvenile justice systems and policy decisions. On January 21, at 2:00 p.m. EST, representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services and the State’s 30th district will discuss how to expand arts education in juvenile justice settings and support young people’s rehabilitation by engaging them on pathways forward. The conversation is being hosted by Arts Education Partnership, a national network of over 100 organizations dedicated to advancing arts education. Registration is still open on their event page.
There is a meeting place for future leaders in our field. Presented by Creative Generation, the Young and Emerging Leaders Forum is a gathering for “young scholars, emerging leaders, and new colleagues to the field of arts education.” The Forum creates a space to share work, participate in shared learning, and cultivate “leadership pipelines” for the global arts field. There are multiple participatory sessions in the series that started in December and will end in June 2021. If you or a colleague is 35 or under, or within the first five years of your career, consider signing up for the upcoming session on February 4 via Creative Generation.