Philip Monk

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

Empathetic Music Programming
Or: How I Learned to Stop Teaching Like an Englishman


I’m often asked about the Mbale Schools Band. It’s easy to see why: we are a celebrated and widely visible British-style brass band founded in Uganda, a country with no tradition of or overwhelming interest in such an ensemble. But while ours is a success story, it is also one of listening and deep empathy—a parable for the virtue of placing yourself in your students’ shoes. Without their wisdom, it’s likely that we would not have made it past year three.


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