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Teaming Up For New National Teaching Artists Training Institute

Teaming up to see children across the nation thrive – 
champions of social change through music come together in a strategic partnership.

October 29, 2021 — Paul M. Angell Family Foundation (IL), Miami Music Project (FL), and Play On Philly (PA), are proud to announce a new partnership to help accelerate the outcomes of ensemble-based classroom music education instruction for the benefit of our nation’s most vulnerable children and youth.                                                                                 

The new Teaching Artists Training Institute (TATI) aims to provide faculty from El Sistema-inspired and community music programs across the country with skills to critically prepare, execute and reflect on their teaching techniques. Originally piloted in August 2020, TATI identifies common challenges and needs, explores best practices and optimal strategies, and creates a unified approach to ensemble-based music learning experience leading to greater consistency and effective practices in the classroom. The skills participating Teaching Artists gain directly benefit and support the growth and learning of the students they serve, leading to their increased success in the classroom and in life.

2020 Pilot Visioning and Leadership Teams (L:R)
Adam Eccleston, Stephanie Hsu, Mike Angell, Thomas Madeja, Jessica Zweig, Anna Klimala, Stanford Thompson, Seth Truby, Robert Saunders
This innovative training is a result of strategic conversations among TATI’s Pilot Visioning TeamMike Angell (Paul M. Angell Family Foundation), Anna Klimala (Miami Music Project), Stanford Thompson (Play On Philly), and Seth Truby (BRAVO Youth Orchestras).  What started with a simple quest to partner up for the benefit of the field and the children served, turned into a realization of the great potential of bringing together leaders from various El Sistema-inspired programs. Fifteen teaching artists from five El Sistema-inspired programs formed the 2020 pilot cohort and took part in monthly learning labs, led by executives of the collaborating organizations and trained by experts in the field. This year, TATI will serve 100 Teaching Artists through its center-piece virtual LAB program, in addition to in-person regional practicums hosted across the country and a week-long retreat in Miami. TATI curriculum efforts are being led by national experts in the fields of education and music. 

“The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation is very pleased to support the Teaching Artists Training Institute as part of our commitment to exciting new paradigms of arts education for underserved youth”, expressed Mike Angell. “The importance of teaching artists in El Sistema inspired programs cannot be overstated! TATI fills a long-known need to support teaching artists and help them develop from dedicated instructors to star educators. The program’s learning labs, cohort structure, and on-site observations are an ideal way to help blaze the path to this goal. Teaching artists, students, and the nonprofits organizations in which they teach will all benefit greatly from this investment.”
El Sistema-inspired organizations serve thousands of students every year.
Following El Sistemaa visionary global movement and a model for social change through musica ground-swell of over 120 El Sistema-inspired programs have been formed across the United States over the last 15 years to meet the needs of students who have little or no access to music education. “The size, scope, and budgets of these organizations vary”, pointed out Stanford Thompson, “but they all stand united in the vision of delivering social transformation through music, and the common need for more effective and unified training for their faculty”.

Teaching Artists are the lifeblood of El Sistema-inspired programs and the most direct connection to the students as mentors in music and life.  As professional musicians and performers, the Teaching Artists share their high-level expertise with children with fewest resources and greatest need.  “Placing professional artists in classrooms opens students’ minds and horizons and is proven to help develop their interpersonal and social skills and boost confidence”, said Anna Klimala, “but the art of effective group-teaching is a skill of its own. The majority of artists working with students in these programs hold music performance degrees but not education degrees.  Giving them optimal classroom training is crucial to their success and, as a result, the long-lasting success of their students.

More information about the Teaching Artists Training Institute offerings and application is available at

In addition to the named organizations, TATI Pilot was envisioned and realized in collaboration with: BRAVO Youth Orchestras (OR), YAMA Music En Acción (WA) and Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project (IL).

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