"Just Work Harder"

Linda Nathan starts “Just Work Harder,” the third chapter of When Grit Isn’t Enough, by observing, “We tell students that if they work harder, they will succeed.” We sure do - and it’s not only educators who say this. In many homes, including mine, parents perpetuate this message. I certainly did when it came to my oldest son, who is now a senior in high school.

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"Race Doesn't Matter"

Chapter two of When Grit Isn't Enough explores the difficult realization that race does matter when it comes to going to college. This chapter reinforced for me how important the arts are. The arts have the ability to dismantle our preconceived notions of others, and they serve as a public forum for discussing challenging topics.

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We'll Still Rise

It’s impossible to have a discussion about El Sistema without touching on lofty ideals of social change. Music educators in the United States, Venezuela, and around the world seek to transform and uplift underserved communities through orchestral training

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Brad BarrettComment
Affection for Place: Re-Enchanting the Classroom

This summer I had the privilege of participating in a seminar for teachers funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The seminar, Re-Enchanting Nature: Humanities Perspectives, brought together 16 educators from across the country to spend three weeks in Montana and Wyoming, exploring how religious, cultural, literary, fine arts, and cinematic perspectives influence our connection to the environment.

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Elizabeth Schibuk Comment
Announcing our first publication: The Journey of El Sistema at Conservatory Lab

We are pleased to announce that we've finished our first collaborative publication as an organization! I've worked with Josue Gonzalez, the Director of El Sistema at Conservatory Lab Charter School, to write a document about the implementation and best practices of Conservatory Lab's El Sistema-inspired music program, and how similar music programs can be initiated in other schools

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Linda NathanComment
A New Bridge from Old Stones

More than 50 years of an oppressive US blockade of Cuba have never deterred the people of Cienfuegos and its hamlet of Pepito Tey. They continue to welcome and embrace American visitors. After a third visit to this island nation I feel more than ever that people, not politics, will pave the way to lasting change.

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Linda NathanComment