YOLA

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

Los Angeles Philharmonic Launches Partners in Music Learning Grant Initiative

04-06-2021

Thanks to an anonymous donor, YOLA and the LA Phil are launching a new regranting initiative for creative youth development and music programs across the U.S.

The Influence of Music Education on Developing Children

12-01-2020

The past two decades of psychological and neuroscientific research on music have provided robust evidence that learning to play music can support brain maturation and the development of cognitive and social skills in children and adolescents. Learning an instrument requires long hours of practice, focused attention, memory, and discipline; mastering one involves the continuous capacity to improve motor, auditory, and executive skills, and is likely to influence the differential development, maintenance, and function of certain brain structures and systems.

The Leni Boorstin YOLA Administrative Fellowship

11-04-2020

To honor the four decades of service that Leni Boorstin has dedicated to the Los Angeles Philharmonic in shaping their community and learning programs, with a central role in launching YOLA, the L.A. Phil has created The Leni Boorstin YOLA Administrative Fellowship. This is a paid annual fellowship for two young people, to provide YOLA graduates an even greater role in shaping its future. Working alongside staff members at the new Beckman YOLA Center at Inglewood, they will contribute to the learning programs and build connections in the community.

Student Voices Take the Lead during YOLA National at Home

09-01-2020

For close to a decade, the month of July has meant national Sistema gatherings hosted by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and this year was no different—except that it was extremely different, because it was all virtual: YOLA National at Home.

YOLA National at Home, 2020

07-07-2020

YOLA National at Home, this year’s online version of the annual YOLA National Festival and Symposium, offers keynotes (Thomas Wilkins and Gustavo Dudamel), community and artist conversations, teaching tools, and project-based learning opportunities for youth and adults. Students, educators, and artists are invited into these interactive experiences, held 3–4 times per week over Zoom and YouTube Live from July 10–31. Register for updates here. YOLA is also partnering with Project 440 to provide musicians of the YOLA National Festival Orchestras with a six-week virtual program on using art as a vehicle for positive change and how to prepare for college or conservatory.

Sharing Our Work during COVID-19

06-02-2020

As learning programs of every kind and in every part of the world find ways to respond to the global health crisis, El Sistema-inspired programs are doing what we encourage our students to do: we are learning from one another. At Miami Music Project, we quickly reached out to El Sistema USA about creating resources for other El Sistema-inspired programs. We were excited to learn that Monique Van Willingh, Director of the Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program at Longy School of Music at Bard College, was already working to develop a webinar series with the goal of sharing field experiences and best practices of organizations that are successfully transitioning to digital programming. Since summer camp activities are the immediate concern for many El Sistema-inspired programs around North America, El Sistema USA President Katie Wyatt reached out to several program leaders to begin sharing their experiences and innovations in this area.

Editorial: March 2020

03-03-2020

Institutional funders of El Sistema-inspired programs are typically limited to those dedicated to the arts and arts education. Foundations supporting social programs might think, “Why would we fund Sistema? That’s arts, which we don’t do.”

FROM THE EDITOR, October 2019

10-01-2019

Since May 2019, a collaborative transition amongst extraordinary individuals has been taking place behind the scenes with The Ensemble newsletter. Thanks to the incomparable support from Eric Booth and Tricia Tunstall, the October issue of The Ensemble is here, marking the transition of publication to Longy School of Music of Bard College.

Community Trust

09-01-2019

Undocumented immigrants share the unique experience of eventually facing the implications of their legal status. For me, that understanding developed in middle school – six years after I crossed the border into the U.S. in 1995, with only shoes, pants, and a sweatshirt.

The YOLA National Festival and Symposium in Los Angeles

08-02-2019

In July, the Los Angeles Philharmonic sponsored the YOLA National Festival and Symposium, a multi-dimensional gathering for the El Sistema movement in the United States. The Festival was an intensive orchestral training program for students ages 12-18 from across the country; close to 150 young musicians came together for two weeks of immersive rehearsals, sectionals, concerts, and community-building activities. 

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