The World Ensemble

Dear Subscriber,  
Here is your mid-month  World Ensemble  Resource Basket. You will find online resources (maybe get free advertisements from Google!); relevant research from Nordic countries and England; awardees of  distinguished Social Enterprise initiatives; insights about programs in Brazil, Mozambique, and Portugal; thoughts about working with refugees—and  meet a 400-year old cello. Share these resources as much as you like; each item lives on the  WE Website .

Please check to make sure everyone on your team gets regular issues of  The World Ensemble —send us names and email addresses, and we'll sign them right up. 
Best wishes from The WE Team
Tricia Tunstall, Executive Editor
Christine D'Alexander, Managing Editor
The Future Is in Capable Young Hands
Students in the Global Leaders program work and teach throughout the world, often sharing their experiences via The World Ensemble . Learn more about the programs they study during their site visits, read about their personal experiences and their change-the-world, award-winning visions. Meet this year’s Laureates winners (and those from previous years) awarded by the Hildegard Behrens Foundation Global Humanitarian Entrepreneur Prize.
Students in refugee crises
Sistema programs around the world are rising up to meet the needs of refugee and migrant young people going through difficult experiences. Thank you to programs in Greece, Germany, Sweden, Palestine, and soon in the U.S. on the Southern border, for providing rich music learning for children living intensely stressful lives. If you know of such programs in other countries, please let us know. These programs have found that Sistema teaching strategies require some adjustment when working in these difficult settings, but that the impact on the young people and their families is powerfully positive.

Here are some things to know about the world’s refugee population: over seven million children are living in refugee situations, and less than half receive a school education, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Amongst high school-aged refugees, only 24% have school opportunities, compared to 84% of non-refugee teens around the world. To find out more about youth refugees, go to: Read More
Google in-kind advertising grants for nonprofit organizations worldwide
Google Ad Grants support nonprofit organizations in more than 50 countries, helping to make the world a better place. Google Ad Grants in-kind advertising utilizes the company's flagship advertising product, Google AdWords. Selected organizations receive $10,000 per month through in-kind AdWords advertising to promote their missions and initiatives on Google. The program has awarded AdWords advertising to a wide range of nonprofit organizations. Online applications may be submitted at any time. Visit Google Ad Grants for program details .
Two new studies on children and young people’s leisure cultures and lives in Nordic countries and England
In Nordic Countries
How are cultural lives of children and young people in the Nordic countries impacted when youngsters are able to make decisions for themselves? What are the driving forces of children and young people in creation processes, and how can we understand the cultural expressions in a larger context? These questions, and many more, are investigated in a new anthology of studies from the Nordic Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis, where 19 researchers present their research on children's and young people's leisure culture in the Nordic countries. Read Report
In England
In the most comprehensive research study of its kind, the Royal Shakespeare Company , the Tate Museums , and the University of Nottingham have collaborated to examine the benefits of arts and cultural education in England. Funded by Arts Council England , and conducted in secondary and special schools throughout the country, the TALE (Tracking Arts Learning and Engagement) study analyzed 6,000 responses from young people aged 14–18, and tracked students and 63 teachers over the span of three years. Providing voices and opinions of young people, the depth and breadth of this research provides significant insights into the positive attributes sustained engagement with arts and cultural education has on the lives of young people. The report It’s Time to Listen provides understandings of what young people and teachers say about the power of arts and cultural education. Read more about the research.
Scholarly study of Sistema-inspired programs in Portugal, Brazil, and Mozambique
A new scholarly paper by Luiz Botelho-Gomes, for his graduate degree program at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., focuses on El Sistema youth orchestras as vehicles for positive social change, and includes case studies of Sistema programs in three Portuguese-speaking countries: Portugal, Brazil, and Mozambique.

Botelho-Gomes grounds his study in the framework of several major 20th-century philosophical constructs, most prominently Paolo Friere’s liberation philosophy and Carl Roger’s humanistic psychology. He focuses on theories of oppression as an internal state as well as an external reality, and freedom as dependent upon the possibility of reflection and hope. His central contention is that orchestras for at-risk youth provide pathways to hopefulness and self-actualization. “If depression cannot kill the ability to feel pleasure, and if even depressed children can prove themselves effective,” he writes, “therein lies the pathway through which the success of a youth orchestra, a laborious endeavor though it is, can become a reality.”

Following this philosophical framing, the scholarly work then provides a detailed account of José Antonio Abreu’s founding of El Sistema, and of the development and major characteristics of the Sistema in Venezuela. It then goes on to present the three case studies of youth orchestras for at-risk youth: ASSATEMEC, near São Paolo, Brazil; Orquestra Geração, in Lisbon, Portugal; and XIQUITSI, in Maputo, Mozambique. For each of these three orchestras, he provides a detailed examination of its history, finances, and management; its social aspects; its pedagogical aspects; and its musical/artistic aspects.

Botelho-Gomes’s analysis is thorough, well-reasoned, and full of vivid insights into the work of El Sistema. A key element of his conclusion is that El Sistema ensembles work because they “infuse artistic work with faith and trust.”
To obtain a copy of the scholarly paper, contact the author here.
Meet a 400-year old cello and its
current human partner
Laurence Lesser introduces us to his 1622 Amati cello in a four-minute film that describes some of the features of his “musical marriage” to a remarkable partner. Cello students (and teachers!) may be interested to meet a classic up close. View Amati Cello video
Thank you for reading! 

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

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