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The Ensemble Newsletter: October News Notes & Resources

By October 1, 2019Uncategorized

News Notes
The Harmony Program explored international connections during its annual summer camp. Sites in Chinatown, Washington Heights, and Jamaica, Queens were paired with El Sistema Greece, South Korea’s Heart to Heart Orchestra, and Cuba’s Korimakao. They exchanged repertoire to rehearse, learned about new cultures, and shared performance videos. For example, in Queens, the students received an arrangement of “Arirang,” often considered the anthem of Korea. They learned about the origin of the song, listened to several recordings (with and without lyrics), and studied unique musical features, including different intervals and rhythms. The conclusion of the project, now underway, involves exchanging, via email, reflections on their learning experiences. For more information, contact: [email protected]

Here is some “newspaper news” that may impact Sistema programs. A long-dormant teaching artist employment issue may be rising into our programs because of a brand new law in California. The issue: are teaching artists employees or independent contractors? The answer has significant financial consequences—not just in California. Read here: Teaching Artist Guild:

Growth Mindset is an education philosophy and set of practices that has found widespread embrace throughout education. Many in the Sistema world have adopted it as an effective way to evolve more traditional music education practices toward Sistema’s social development goals. The excellent online Mindset Kit contains free online lessons and practices to help teach and foster adaptive beliefs about learning. In addition to its wealth of practical guidance for teachers, it includes sections for parents and mentors. You can also learn more about Dr. Carol Dweck, Growth Mindset, and how intelligence can be developed, by visiting

Is your Sistema program part of a school’s music education? Give A Note (GAN) supports creative, impactful, and sustainable programs in public
school music classrooms. What matters most to GAN is connection to the local community. “Community Benefit” is the area in the application review that is most heavily weighted, and this year they have added a special focus on Innovation. Apply for the 2020 Music Education Innovator Award until October 11. Go to:

Music Learning as Youth Development explores how music programs can contribute to young people’s social, emotional, cognitive, and artistic capacities in the context of life-long musical development. It is argued that MLYD programs should particularly focus on the curiosity and
views of young people who guide the teachers, musicians, pedagogy, and music with which they interact. From fields of progressive music
education, authors share their perspectives on approaches that can lead to new ways of enabling youth learners as they transition to adulthood.

In The Entrepreneurial Artist: Lessons from Highly Successful Creatives, Aaron Dworkin, founder of Sphinx offers guidance for achieving personal
and professional artistic fulfillment. Drawing on lessons from classical masters including Shakespeare and Mozart, and contemporaries such as Marin Alsop, Midori, and Wynton Marsalis, his 13 stories advise and guide artists from all mediums on how to realize one’s goals.

As announced in the last issue, a webinar with Dalouge Smith on his September lead article “Scaling Up Our Movement” was recorded and is available (thanks to El Sistema USA) at