The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) with The Klarman Family Foundation kick off the second cohort of the META Fellowship this month. The term stands for Music Educators and Teaching Artists, and it is a two year professional development program for about 60 Fellows, including faculty from Sistema-inspired programs in the state. There is nothing else quite like it in the U.S.—it blends the two kinds of professionals, in-school music teachers, and music teaching artists, who share a deep commitment to the musical lives of young people, but rarely learn together side by side or observe one another’s work. Other distinctive features of the program include regular meetings that explore key ideas from Creative Youth Development best practices, stipends and additional support for each individual to map out her own learning goals, and fund special opportunities that will help her pursue them. The program improves practice but also encourages self-motivated professional advancement. The pioneering initial two-year cohort was carefully studied, and the model has proven to produce remarkably positive impact in terms of improving practice, building collegial connections, increasing the Fellows’ appreciation of their skills as artists and teachers, and boosting professionalism with a culminating project each Fellow designs and delivers. Check out the MC blog, Seen and Heard, to learn more.
Another MCC program called SerHacer (from the Spanish “to be, to make”) supports intense ensemble based music programs that follow creative youth development principles, with a large part of its 22 program cohort reporting inspiration or emulation of El Sistema practices. SerHacer, along with the other MCC programs, work together to expand access for a significant target population—193,000 children in the state who live in poverty or disadvantaged opportunities for music education. The Mass Cultural Council is the only state arts council in the U.S. that has made such a significant commitment to supporting the El Sistema programs in the state, and to broadening the conversation with these programs by including them in the larger Creative Youth Development movement of which MCC is a leading national partner. Check out the MCC website for more information on SerHacer.
Date: 29 September 2018