The World Ensemble
Dear Subscriber,

Your April Resource Basket offers plenty of ways to continue your work in the time of COVID-19, and a few others to help you refocus your energy elsewhere. And in case you missed it, check out the resources in The Ensemble Newsletters’ COVID-19 Special Issue. If you are looking for more resources to help you through this pandemic, Americans for the Arts has prepared a comprehensive list as well.

We leave you with a note from the newest U.S. El Sistema program, which started four months ago in Tornillo, TX, on the Mexican border, where many children are migrants. Some traverse the border every day to go to school. With schools now closed, the program is doing everything it can to get instruments and Internet devices to students.

"One of our third-grade students is stuck across the border in Mexico, because the borders are closed. His aunt, who lives in Tornillo, came to us to get his new violin and then went to the border and handed his instrument across to him in Mexico. He's taking WhatsApp lessons with us now. Even in this time of unprecedented barriers, we are, in true El Sistema fashion, making it work!" 
~Jessie O'Hara, lead teaching artist, Tocando at Tornillo

Stay safe, and keep fighting the good fight,
Tricia Tunstall, Executive Editor 
Patrick Scafidi, Managing Editor
Ryan Welsh, Associate Editor 
Longy School of Music of Bard College, Publisher 
Ways to Connect with the Community
Let's connect teaching artists—help share ideas, stories, best practices, challenges, and mutual support during these difficult times. This new WhatsApp group for El Sistema Teaching Artists —for teachers, by teachers—does just that. There is a lively exchange happening in there! Now more than ever, teaching artists need support, need good suggestions, need a good laugh. Given all the COVID-19 changes, many teachers are losing jobs and/or finding new ways to connect with students virtually. 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. 
Global Leaders Program Offers Three Digital Resources for Music Educators
Sidelined teachers, social entrepreneurs, and civic-oriented musicians (both those sheltering in good health as well as those who are ill) can continue to stay in touch and involved in the weeks ahead, through the GLP's open-enrollment webinars, COVID-related and otherwise. Learn how to “Find a Gift in This Time of Adversity"; examine “Sustainable Development Goals in Music Education”; consider if the "Frameworks for Music Entrepreneurs” would help you design the project you have been aiming to put down on paper for a while. Don’t worry about any you’ve missed—you can also access archived webinar sessions using the link above.  

If you are wondering how else you can contribute to the field during this global pandemic, consider participating in the GLP Music Educators & Social Entrepreneurs Support Task Force. Meeting every Wednesday, the Task Force brings together diverse voices and perspectives to share solutions and responses to this crisis. The GLP has also made available their learning and video conference platform to any music organization or school seeking temporary large-scale remote teaching or live communication tools—and will show you how to get started for free. Organizations from Jerusalem to London have already started using their platform with success. To join the Task Force’s ongoing conversation, or make use of this video platform, contact Natalia Jimenez.

It is still possible to apply to Global Leaders Program nine-month Executive Graduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, Cultural Agency, Policy Leadership, Teaching Artistry, and Organizational Management for the next cohort 2020-2021; registration open until May 1.

Transitioning to a Virtual Workplace
Teaching artists all over the world were in the familiar noisy environment of their music programs one day—and thrust suddenly into a virtual workplace on the next. “ How to Transition to a Virtual Workplace Overnight,” by Tim Cynova, is a blog-essay from Fractured Atlas that details lots of good advice about working efficiently and effectively in this new online environment. Fractured Atlas (founded in 1998) also offers a “ Theory of Change Workbook,” based on its decades of experience as a fiscal sponsor for over 950 independent artists and arts organizations, helping them sustain their businesses and providing other services to the growth of the arts and arts education fields in the U.S.
NAMM Foundation Offers Online Teaching Webinar
NAMM Foundation
Check out " Making Music Online: How-To's for Private and Group Lessons," a recent webinar from the NAMM Foundation. Myriad practitioners share how they adapted in a matter of days to online group lessons and therapeutic music-making for toddlers, kids with compromised physical health, adult first responders, and people with special needs. We also hear from music teachers who are teaching online, from students who are participating in the new lesson format, and from kids, parents, and first responders who are participating in music therapy.

Finding Joy and Connection Through Music
Together at Home is a new series from Global Citizen in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO). To support the WHO’s efforts and to help us all feel less lonely, the series features a new artist each day, bringing their talents live to social media. They’ll take requests, talk about their process, and sing some of their classics. Join here.

Musicians Without Borders also invites you to share how you’ve been using music to bring your community together, be it from a balcony, on Facebook Live, or simply songs with your family. Share how you are using music to connect and express solidarity. When sharing music on social media, use #ReachOutwithMusic and tag @MusicianswithoutBorders, and they will share as many of your videos as they can.
Award Recognizes Organizations Working in Latin America and the Caribbean
The Inter-American Development Bank’s JK VISIONARIES award recognizes organizations that are working in innovative and effective ways to improve lives in Latin America and the Caribbean. The award is open to non-governmental organizations from IDB member countries that are leaders in improving lives, strengthening citizen participation, fostering equitable societies, and promoting social inclusion, with over five years on projects with proven results. The winning organization will receive U.S. $100,000 to encourage its initiative and its ongoing efforts to improve the lives of the region’s people. A second-place prize of $50,000, and third- and fourth-place prizes of $25,000 each, will also be awarded. The deadline for proposals has been extended to May 29—visit the Bank’s website to review the call for proposals in English or Spanish

El Sistema and Refugees
El Sistema programs are finding ways to provide music learning for refugee and migrant young people around the world. Fewer than half of the world’s 7.1 million refugee children receive schooling, and only 24% of high school–age refugees have school opportunities—compared with 84% of non-refugee teens around the world. Thank you to El Sistema program friends in Greece, Germany, Sweden, and in the U.S. for providing rich music education to kids who live stressful lives. Find out more about youth refugees here.
Scotland's New Strategic Policy Redefines "Culture"
Scotland recently released a new national cultural strategy that sets a high standard for other countries around the world. It actively seeks to broaden the definition of culture, boldly aiming to reduce the “silo” identity around arts and culture and welcoming diverse cultural influences into an expanding definition of 21st century Scottish culture. Further, it seeks to “place culture as a central consideration across all policy areas, including: health and wellbeing, economy, education, reducing inequality, and realizing a greener and more innovative future.” In the country that has supported the best researched and most widely studied Sistema program outside Venezuela— Big Noise/Sistema Scotland—the government further demonstrates its progressive commitment to the importance of culture for every member of society.  

Musical Instruments for Social Change
Many musicians around the world use strings and other instrument parts made by the D’Addario company, based in the Long Island suburbs of New York City. (The D’Addario Foundation has been a good friend and supporter to El Sistema programs in the U.S.) In March, they were mandated to shut down, to protect their workers against the risk of catching the coronavirus. But before shutting down, their engineers designed a way to turn the equipment that created Evans G2 drumheads into machines that produce safety shields for medical workers. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration approved their shield, and the state allowed them to stay open to manufacture this safety equipment. Their goal is to be producing 100,000 Dynatomy face shields a week by the end of April. Yes, from drumhead materials!  
Celebrating Beethoven with Long-Distance Ensemble Work
Thank you to Sistema de Orquestas y Coros Juveniles e Infantiles del Uruguay for an original celebration of Beethoven's 250th birthday that we have seen during the pandemic. Watch a minute of 11 double bass players play their part in a section of the third movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony—from their remote locations, but together nonetheless!
Thank you for reading! 

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