Mollie Westbrook

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

Finding a New Way Forward: Examining the Sustainability of Labor Practices in El Sistema


According to the Labor Department, a record 4 million people quit their jobs in April alone (“As the Pandemic Recedes, Millions of Workers are Saying ‘I Quit,’” NPR). This resignation seems especially spurred by a great shift in priorities due to pandemic-related situations (fears of unsafe workplaces, decreased pay or furloughs, layoffs, etc.), but it also seems that in this “once-in-a-lifetime” moment, many people have taken stock of their lives and their jobs and simply said, “Enough.”

After six years of full-time work in the El Sistema field, I too followed this line of thinking. Like the millions of Americans who put in their notice in 2021, I decided to leave.


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