The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.
News & Resources
Teaching artists anywhere now have access to a clearinghouse of new tools and resources from the International Teaching Artist Collaborative (ITAC). The U.S. organization Creative Generation (CG) has received an ITAC grant for their “Knowledge Sharing and Digital Learning Project,” which creates digital learning modules out of ITAC’s monthly Think Tanks. These modules go deeper into strong practices shared by teaching artists who are experts in a particular subject area, disseminating that expertise throughout the field of teaching artistry. CG has already begun to publish these expanded learning modules—the first five feature teaching artists from Ghana, Czech Republic, Scotland, Australia, and Papua New Guinea—and will continue to publish more. CG will also publish research and resources from sessions presented at ITAC4 (Carnegie Hall, 2012) and ITAC5 (Seoul, South Korea, 2020).
You probably have several secret (or not-so-secret) young songwriters in your program—pass this resource along to them. Carnegie Hall has posted a five-part workshop on “How to Write a Song,” led by songwriter and performer Bridget Barkan. The series explores the power of songs and provides a step-by-step approach to crafting a song that expresses ideas and emotions; finding inspiration; writing a chorus, verse, and bridge; and making sure that the song has the communicative power of personal voice.
Building a comprehensive repertoire of diverse composers remains an unfortunate and lingering difficulty in our field. The (ICD) is working to actively address this issue, creating a database of thousands of composers from historically underrepresented groups and marginalized communities. The database includes both living and non-living composers and includes orchestral, wind ensemble, choral, and vocal art song works, with grade level designations. It also identifies repertoire trends of major orchestras to help arts institutions shift their programming.
We may be close to real-time virtual ensemble playing. Listen to from Audio Movers and Jack Trip that may make it possible for musicians to play together online. There are still glitches, especially with distances beyond a local area, but this is a hopeful update on a technological breakthrough that would benefit our work profoundly.
The Abolitionist Teaching Network is offering two online sessions for educators looking to continue the work of unlearning racist practices in the classroom. BIPOC are invited to attend Freedom Fridays with Noor Jones-Bey on November 6 (and every first Friday), 8–9 p.m. EST. The workshop will offer art forms such as poetry, movement, music, writing prompts, and more to help you through the month. Learn more and register here. And on Thursday, November 12, 8–9:30 p.m. EST, you can attend an online event titled, “No Matter Who Wins the Election, We Need an Abolitionist Agenda.” Panelists include 2018 and 2019 National Teachers of the Year, ATN cofounder Bettina Love, and more. Register here.
Arts Connect International held its Arts Equity Summit 2020 virtually, during three days in late April. Its mission: serving arts and culture leaders who are committed to collectively building equity, access, and inclusion. Over a thousand people attended the Summit in some way, and now ACI has posted recordings of all the sessions. Here is an overview of the Summit, and here are recordings of keynotes, sessions, and performances. Click here to find out more about ACI.
Go exploring inside Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, use, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, for free, without asking. For the first time in its 174-year history, the Smithsonian has created platforms and tools to provide easy access to nearly 3 million high resolution 2-D and 3-D digital items from their 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo. This huge data dump is just the beginning; throughout the rest of 2020, the Smithsonian will roll out another 200,000 images, with more to come as the Institution continues to digitize its collection of 155 million items and counting. The Smithsonian collection includes hundreds of items pertaining to music.
The Josiah Quincy Orchestra Program in Boston offers three new ways for students to take charge of their own music-making at home. One page helps them tune their own string instruments; another, Music Tech, introduces tools and apps designed to stoke creativity and inspire musicianship; and one directly supports special needs learners. Also, check out their JQOP Creative Camp, which offers a variety of daily online classes this spring. Registration for summer classes is open now. (See the column in this issue by JQOP’s Executive Director.)
English Language Learner (ELL) students are the fastest-growing student population in the United States—by 2025, an estimated 25% of public school students will be emergent multilingual learners, according to the National Education Association (NEA). Check out some free resources to support ELLs in your program.