The World Ensemble
Dear Subscriber,

Happy holidays to you and yours from the Ensemble team! This overstuffed December Resource Basket is our final gift to you—a collection of new ideas, opportunities, announcements, and the tools to grow your program in 2021.

Thank you for making time to browse these links this past year, when collective action and progress felt more essential—and harder earned—than ever before. We hope these monthly Baskets have enriched your work in ways large and small. 

Wishing you a peaceful holiday season and a happy new year,

The WE Team
Young Musicians Rally Around Rock Music to Build Bridges 
Music Connects is premiering a new documentary on music’s role as a universal language. It shares the story of young people who seek to heal ethnic divides in regions still plagued by the Yugoslav Wars. The uniting force? Rock music, which serves as the soundtrack to this story of bridging cultural differences.
Premiering on Saturday, December 19, 20:30 CET (2:30 p.m. EST), Music Connects: The Real School of Rock examines how music can connect different worlds. After the premiere, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews will be shared by the documentary’s filmmakers. The event is free with donations welcome. Click here to secure a ticket.
Looking Out Foundation Offers Grants to Serve and Amplify Organizations in Need 
The Looking Out Foundation seeks to amplify the impact of music by empowering those without a voice, funding causes and organizations that often go unnoticed. Grants range between $1,000 and $5,000, and application deadlines are February 1 and August 1. Additional information about the Foundation is here and the application guidelines are here. Starting in 2008, multiple GRAMMY-winning artists Brandi Carlile and Tim and Phil Hanseroth banded together with fans, nonprofits, and corporations “to translate voices of song to voices of action”—$1 from every concert ticket sold goes directly into this fund.
El Sistema Sweden Presses Forward with Open Call for Side by Side Orchestra and Choir Camp
This past year, El Sistema Sweden and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra demonstrated how effective virtual programming could be in hosting an all-digital Side by Side International Youth Orchestra and Choir Camp. Normally a summer hub for over a thousand young musicians from all over the world, the online camp still provided an intense week of youth empowerment and ensemble playing.
Planning for next year’s camp has already begun, and Side by Side is calling for “Expressions of Interest” for those looking to participate in the 2021 camp, which will take place June 1923. Plans to balance digital and in-person attendance will be determined by the interest and responses they receive. The camp brings together an international cohort of young musicians to develop their skills and work with top-level musicians and conductors, including members of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. The deadline for Expressions of Interest is February 7, 2021; click here to learn more and reach out.
Musicians Without Borders Schedules Musical Leadership Training for Early Spring 2021
Looking for practical tools to keep pace in the ever-evolving climate of the music classroom? Musicians Without Borders is offering a professional development series in music leadership that seeks to prepare its participants to comfortably manage conflict, to provide them with exercises for regulating socio-emotional behaviors, and to create inclusive classrooms that transcend language or cultural barriers. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and training will be held February 21–24 in Ede, The Netherlands. There is a cost associated with the training. For more information or general inquiries, contact Meagan Hughes at:
Now Available: A Digital Library of Learning Modules from Expert Teaching Artists
Teaching artists anywhere now have access to a clearinghouse of new tools and resources from the International Teaching Artist Collaborative (ITAC). The U.S. organization Creative Generation (CG) has received an ITAC grant for their “Knowledge Sharing and Digital Learning Project,” which creates digital learning modules out of ITAC’s monthly Think Tanks. These modules go deeper into strong practices shared by teaching artists who are experts in a particular subject area, disseminating that expertise throughout the field of teaching artistry. CG has already begun to publish these expanded learning modules—the first five feature teaching artists from Ghana, Czech Republic, Scotland, Australia, and Papua New Guinea—and will continue to publish more. CG will also publish research and resources from sessions presented at ITAC4 (Carnegie Hall, 2012) and ITAC5 (Seoul, South Korea, 2020).
Lewis Prize for Music Announces Accelerator Awards Finalists
The Lewis Prize for Music seeks out, honors, and supports programs they consider to be “catalysts” in the U.S. field for community-driven, high-quality music learning opportunities. The goal is to target and amplify programs that spark positive change in society. Listed among this year’s finalists is Atlanta Music Project, under the direction of Dantes Rameau and Aisha Moody; last year’s three grant recipients included Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI.
The eight finalists were selected not only for their programmatic offerings but also their “nimbleness” in adapting to the pressures of COVID, often going beyond the art and providing youth with access to technology, food, and other vital resources. These programs also demonstrated a strong focus on social and racial justice matters, fostering a sense of self-worth and leadership within their communities. Winners will be announced on January 12, 2021. Read about each of the finalists here.
Rwanda Youth Music Brings Back the Rhythm in December Concert
The Rwanda Youth Music program shared a performance video to celebrate the lifting of certain COVID restrictions and the renewal of in-person rehearsals and concerts. On Sunday, December 13, three “energy-boosting bands,” Unit, Legend, and Fire Voice, performed for this online concert. Check out the replay of this celebratory event on their Facebook page.
Carnegie Hall Offers Free Workshop for Young Songwriters
You probably have several secret (or not-so-secret) young songwriters in your program—pass this resource along to them. Carnegie Hall has posted a five-part workshop on “How to Write a Song,” led by songwriter and performer Bridget Barkan. The series explores the power of songs and provides a step-by-step approach to crafting a song that expresses ideas and emotions; finding inspiration; writing a chorus, verse, and bridge; and making sure that the song has the communicative power of personal voice.
ArtsEdSearch and Khan Academy Offer Free Resource Libraries for the Arts Education Community
Are you sometimes looking for solid research to back up your claims about your program’s value? ArtsEdSearch is the largest online clearinghouse for reliable arts education research to support practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders in the U.S. This searchable database (sort by age level, arts discipline, kinds of providers, and more) now holds over 300 studies gathered over eight years by the Arts Education Partnership. Many of the studies address relevant issues such as social and emotional learning, school engagement, and civic and community engagement.
And while you’re perusing ArtsEdSearch, also consider another extensive, free online resource library from Khan Academy. While traditionally associated with more academic topics, Khan Academy also offers tutorials and instructional videos in music. Topics range from music theory to music history and genre lessons; this could be a practical online resource to add to your teaching toolbox.
Help Creative Generation Re-Think ‘Mentorship’
Do you have useful definitions of mentorship that are not solely based on age, title, or perceived level of expertise? Creative Generation will publish a series of papers that disrupt and interrogate long-held ideas of mentorship—promoting youth-centered, multilateral, intergenerational, and/or cyclical mentorship models in arts and cultural education.
The project welcomes both young and established writers, as well as artists, educators, and community activists, to submit abstracts. Editors will use Creative Generation’s writer-friendly, constructive peer-review model, and the special issue will be edited by an intergenerational committee of educators, scholars, and arts practitioners. Proposals should include: an abstract, an initial outline, and the names of proposed authors and/or collaborators. An invitation to submit does not guarantee acceptance of the manuscript, and all submissions that are accepted into the series will undergo peer review. Please direct inquiries and proposals to and specify that the submission is intended for the special series on Cyclical Mentorship. The deadline is January 15.
Finland Shares Music Education Goals for Next Decade
While Finlanders are usually modest about claiming accomplishments, a Vision 2030 publication starts with the statement, “Finnish music education is the best in the world.” Many agree. You might be interested in looking at this one-page summary of what the best music education nation envisions for its next ten years.
Updates from the Arts Council of Ireland and Ireland’s Culture Minister
What do 17-year-olds actually do for fun? A new study from the Arts Council of Ireland details answers for their country—would the answers be the same for 17-year-olds in your country? Their top three “cultural activities” for several-times-a-week fun or relaxation were listening to music (87%), surfing the Internet (86%), and singing/playing a musical instrument (23%)—only one in six (14%) reads for pleasure several times a week.
And while you are thinking about Ireland, you might want to glance over its first-ever Cultural Policy Framework. It begins with a quote from the Culture Minister: “Our culture in all its distinctiveness and variety is what identifies us as a people. It captures our past, shapes our present, and imagines our future.”

The World Ensemble Team
Tricia Tunstall

Patrick Scafidi

Camille Delaney-McNeil

Dr. Ryan Welsh

Tricia Tunstall
Eric Booth

Dr. Chrissie D’Alexander
Elsje Kibler-Vermaas
Jacquie McNulty
Rey Ramirez
Monique Van Willingh

Caroline Campos
Zoe Kumagai
Gabrielle Molina

Thank you for reading! 

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 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: