Do you know about these seven black composers?

You may know about Florence Price and Scott Joplin, but do you know the work of George Bridgetower, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Joseph Bologne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges? Make sure you know about these seven black composers who made classical music history. ...
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Expanding the Ways We Evaluate Excellence

For twenty years, the initiative Animating Democracy, from Americans for the Arts, has been the most prominent national organization supporting arts for social and civic change in the United States.  A few years ago they produced a significant report called Aesthetic...
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Teach to Learn

Although we live in a world connected extensively through the web and social media, it can still be challenging to forge meaningful connections between creative individuals from different cultures. This is especially true for individuals who seek mentorship within the...
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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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