Author Archives: Jennifer Kessler

Connecting El Sistema Programs in the US

Who knew little kids playing Tchaikovsky in Latin America could inspire national institutional partnerships in the United States? Last month, the Los Angeles Philharmonic announced a new Masters of Arts in Teaching degree, in partnership with the Longy School of Music and Bard College, to position high-level musicians as socially-conscious, engaging teachers in El Sistema-inspired […]

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Critical Links: the bullet points

This is the quick-fix version of my essay for the Arts Policy Library about “Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development,” edited by Richard Deasy. I hope this will give you brief overview of what the Compendium is about, and what I took away from it. “Critical Links: Learning in the Arts […]

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Arts Policy Library: Critical Links

SUMMARY The story of “Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development,” an extraordinarily ambitious collection of research on arts education, begins in 1997, when a report published by the Arts Education Partnership’s Task Force on Research emphasized a need for a review of up-to-date research to help inform program design […]

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It Don’t Mean a Thing (If There’s No Audience to Swing): Jazz Audience Development in 2011

My earliest memories of attending live jazz events as a child include my father taking me to hear alto horn player Dick Carey at a club in LA, and an outdoor jazz festival with hundreds of Hawaiian-shirt clad middle-aged people swaying to the grooves on stage. For the past 3 years, I’ve spent a good […]

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El Sistema: The Movement

Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra (image by gichristof) El Sistema is a system of youth orchestras in Venezuela designed to save the lives of under-served children through intensive and fun participation in music. Founded in 1975 by a visionary man named Jose Antonio Abreu (the former Venezuelan Advisor of the National Economic Council and the Minister […]

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Re-envisioning No Child Left Behind, and What It Means for Arts Education

In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama spent almost 10 of his 60 minutes discussing why it’s so essential to offer every child a world-class education: Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school education. And yet, as many as […]

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