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Teaching

Editorial: Loving a Community into Wholeness

Some years ago, I was mocked by a Sistema critic for my statement that the essence of Sistema learning environments is to love children into wholeness.  Although my statement was taken out of context, to make a point (as Sistema’s...
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Addressing Teacher-Student Racial Bias

In some instances, Sistema teachers are from a different race or ethnic background than their students and families. In the U.S. Sistema field, the racial disparities between faculty/staff and students/families are widely recognized as a challenge, and the issue of...
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Symphony for a Broken Orchestra

Found Sound Nation, in collaboration with Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, meticulously recorded the sounds of over 800 broken instruments from the Philadelphia public school district, in an effort to inspire the public to ‘adopt’ these instruments and fund their restoration for...
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Like Your Life Depends on It

It’s a fact: how much a student cares about a piece she is learning makes a gigantic difference to her learning experience.  It makes a gigantic difference to how she feels about her ensemble and what they are trying to...
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Dealing With Students Who Have Anxiety

Most young people live with some level of anxiety that they bring to their learning opportunities, and some students carry additional anxieties because of stresses in their life situations.  Some definitely need the help of psychological counseling to support them,...
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Check out ASCD Conference Sessions Online

ASCD’s Empower 2019 national conference in March featured a number of presentations that are now available on their website.  One presentation focuses on student self-assessment and reflection to deepen mastery.  These essential habits for good learning are often ignored or...
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Middle School Classroom Management

“Classroom Management” is always a hot issue for newer Sistema teachers.  We at The WE have argued in previous issues that those worries are largely misplaced.  Sure, there are some good basic teaching tools every teacher should know, but highly engaging musical...
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EDITORIAL: Don’t Ever Ask That Question Again

“Did you like that piece?”  “Tell me what you liked and didn’t like about that performance?”  I hear these questions asked of music students everywhere I go in Western cultures.  I hear that kind of liking/disliking question in most Sistema...
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