March 2023

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

National Thinking, Local Impact


Though still in its pilot year, the Center has been five years in the making, thanks to a strategic plan relying on input from a Steering Committee composed of representatives of over 20 Indianapolis organizations. During my individual meetings with each committee member, one concern kept coming up: a fear that the Center would be going after the same local funding sources they rely on for operations and programming. It became clear to me that arts organizations in Indianapolis were jockeying to drink from the same pool.

Sistema Scotland: New Evaluation Shows Big Noise, Big Futures


Sistema Scotland is excited to share the learning from a recently published evaluation report by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH). The report, titled Statistical Analysis of Educational Outcomes Among Big Noise Raploch Participants, finds that young people who take part in Big Noise Raploch are more likely to achieve positive post-school outcomes and are more likely to be in employment than those who have not participated in the program.

GLI Imagined Community Concert: Ubuntu Bulamu at Brass for Africa


During interviews, BFA Founder Jim Trott emphasized gender inequality as a prominent issue in the places where they work, citing data that indicates the problem has worsened during the pandemic. As Jim referenced several alarming practices—domestic violence, dowry violence, acid attack, forced marriage, sexual harassment, human trafficking, forced prostitution—it became clear to us that our imagined concert would need to raise awareness of this issue.

The Ambassadors’ Exchange: The Ensemble Ambassador Spotify Playlist


This month, The Ensemble Ambassadors got together and began our first project with our new cohort leader: The Ensemble Ambassador Spotify Playlist. Each Ambassador was asked to submit three songs: a “hype” song, a song we love, and a song that represents our culture or country of origin. In addition to creating the playlist, each ambassador reflected on why we chose our songs; read those perspectives below. Sharing music is an amazing way to connect with new people, so we hope you can check out our playlist!

Miami Lighthouse Youth Music Program: Reimagining Music as an Empowerment Tool


Nearly two decades ago, when I started going completely blind, I came to the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired to learn how to live as a blind person. It was there that I encountered extraordinary young people who either were born blind or went blind when they were young—but who were united in their abiding love of and talent for music.

‘Hosts in Their Own Home’: True Interculturalism at Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy


As I began my career teaching Mexican music to children, the advent of multiculturalism promised increased representation but actually delivered narrow spaces that forced us into stereotypes, akin to Taco Tuesday at the cultural center. So I began to practice interculturalism, within which we took control of our own self-definition and expression. We studied our traditions from within and created bridges to people of various cultures directly.

Sinfonía por el Perú, an Experience of Social Innovation


Right away, during the program’s first year, positive effects were obvious. In fact, the music’s potential seemed to go beyond the ability to learn a new skill or develop cognitively; it seemed like a means to tackle all sorts of issues—self-esteem, tolerance, cooperation, communication, dialogue, self-care, self-determination, and so much more.


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