The World Ensemble
Dear Subscribers to The World Ensemble

Inside this April issue of The World Ensemble, explore the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic, learn about unique programs from Rwanda to Scotland to New Zealand, and enjoy a firsthand account of Chile’s first wind conductor intensive. We also include a bonus Call to Action that is too important to withhold—please click through to learn more. 

In these uncertain times, we want you to please share with us—program responses to COVID-19, offerings of joy, and everything in between. We are eager to share your work with the field at large. Now, more than ever, let’s use our connectedness to influence social change through music. 

Thanks for reading, and stay safe, 
The WE Team 
In Crisis, New Opportunity for Artists: The United Nations Wants Our Help!

In an unprecedented move, the United Nations has just put out a “ Global Call to Creatives,” asking for artists in all cultures to create art that communicates six vital public health messages about COVID-19.

NEW! Special Resource for Teachers: Talk Directly to Each Other

Let's connect teaching artists—help them share ideas, stories, best practices, challenges, and mutual support during these difficult times. This new WhatsApp group for Sistema Teaching Artists—for teachers, by teachers—does just that. Now more than ever, teaching artists need support, need good suggestions, need a good laugh. Given all of the COVID-19 changes, many teachers are losing jobs and/or finding new ways to connect with students virtually. Join this fun, smart and supportive community; just complete the sign up form and jump into conversation with your peers around the world. Helpful new resources, ideas, and stories will be shared—please join us.
Editorial: Rediscovering Our Passion and Purpose during the Coronavirus Pandemic

by Maria Majno, President, SONG / Sistema in Lombardia ;
Vice President, Sistema Europe

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” One of the best known, most philosophical yet universally accessible passages of the Bible (Ecclesiastes, 3:1) sets a consoling frame. Yet who knows for how many seasons the COVID-19 turmoil will last as an unprecedented challenge?

The Ubuntu Music Program: Strengthening Community through Music and Athletics

Collective submission from members of the Playing For Change Foundation

The Playing For Change Foundation has been working in Rwanda since 2011, using music and sports as tools for positive change and education. 

Radical Inclusion and Friendship in
Arohanui Strings

by Alison Eldredge, Director, Arohanui Strings , (Sistema Hutt Valley/ Wellington, New Zealand)

I moved to New Zealand in 2010, when my husband began a job with the NZ Symphony Orchestra. After years of playing violin professionally, Suzuki and Waldorf/Steiner teaching, and raising our two daughters, I found myself for the first time in decades with time and space to contemplate going in a new direction.

I was moved and inspired by a DVD of the El Sistema movie "Tocar y Luchar," given to me by a colleague who grew up through El Sistema in Venezuela. It immediately inspired curiosity—and then it was just a matter of waiting for the right time and place. I have always had a fascination with how children learn, and so, burning with enthusiasm, I set out to start a Sistema experiment in my new backyard: the northern suburbs of Wellington, NZ!

U.S. Sistema Programs Respond to Pandemic

by Eric Booth, co-founder of The Ensemble Newsletters

In the U.S., Sistema programs shut down in early March—first one, then a few, and within a week, all of them.

Early Years Music in Sistema Scotland

by Jen Nicholson, Curriculum Leader Early Years , Sistema Scotland

Relationship is at the heart of music teaching around the world. In Sistema Scotland, we begin this process in our Early Years settings, with Baby Noise for babies 0-2 years old, and the Nursery for preschool children 3-5 years old. 

Nurturing the Artistry in Leadership: Wind Conductor Development In Chile

by Dr. Kevin Cameron, Director of Education and Professional Development at Maestros With a Mission Pty Ltd

“How hard could it be?”

This was my initial mindset in December of 2019, when I received news that I was to lead a Wind Conductor Intensive in Santiago as part of my work with the Global Leaders Program.

The Ambassadors' Exchange
The WE Ambassadors are a group of El Sistema student musicians who serve as representatives of their programs around the world.

Axelle Miel, Ang Misyon Cebu (Philippines)
Inspired by a book recently donated to us, we recently began using a new method of rote learning for beginner students....
Mary Nakacwa, Architects of Music (Uganda)
My video update this month shows the students at Architects of Music practicing a dance called Larakaraka, a courtship dance, from Northern Uganda.

Thank you for reading! 

Be on the lookout for additional resources and news later this month.

Don't forget to check out our   WEBSITE   and follow us on social media.

Have an idea for an article, news item, or resource?

NAMM Foundation
Updates to the World Ensemble, including our new website,
have been made possible through the support of the NAMM Foundation.
Subscribe Today
To receive monthly issues of our newsletters:
 For more information:
The Ensemble newsletters are sent in collaboration with: