October Resources 2021

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

Call to Action: Invest in Arts Education Now


Four powerhouses across the major performing arts disciplines co-wrote an op-ed early this summer about this critical moment for arts education. The New York Daily News piece, penned by Misty Copeland, Wynton Marsalis, Jody Gottfried Arnhold, and Russell Granet, calls on public schools in New York City to invest in equitable, high-quality arts instruction in their curricula. Though the writers take an NYC-centric view—expressing their disappointment in the city’s mishandling of a federal stimulus—they spotlight issues that will resonate with programs in any state: equity gaps in education, investment in teachers, and proper resource allocation in schools. Read the article via NYDN and be sure to share it with peers.

Podcasts, for and by Teachers


Edutopia’s “13 Educator-Approved Podcasts to Listen to This Year” is here for any educator looking to take a step back and view their work in new ways. These suggestions come from Edutopia readers and aim to support teachers as people, not just as educators. One podcast, Social Studies, helps listeners find the funny in work that can often feel stressful or overwhelming; another, Black Educators Matter, highlights the stories of 500 Black educators nationwide.

Suggested Reading: Of Sound Mind


In the new book Of Sound Mind (MIT Press), auditory neuroscientist Nina Kraus makes the case that budding musicians enjoy measurable brain gains that help them achieve outside the school orchestra. The book covers Kraus’ career studying life and sound at her Brainvolts lab at Northwestern University, including two longitudinal studies of real-world music students who showed improved language and reading skills that tracked with changes in their brain functioning.

Free Newsletter Examines the Arts in Community


The Community Arts Network’s useful and speedy 1-2-3-4 Newsletter provides a free monthly booster shot of recognition about of what the arts can do in communities. Each issue includes: one story that inspires you; two people who will energize you; three organizations to know about; and four great resources. Learn more about the newsletter via Mailchimp and sign up via this form.

Free Online Tool Blends Coding with Music-Making


Coding is a popular buzzword in schools, especially when it comes to STEM education. If your tech-savvy students are also interested in coding, they may be excited to learn about EarSketch. This new learning tool is designed for teachers and students alike—helping students learn to code as part of their music-making process, and offering teachers a complete curriculum that includes teaching materials and resources. The service is free to use; visit their website to learn more.


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