Why MMG?

The population in the United States and in many other countries in the world is extremely diverse. We have the responsibility to examine and discuss what unites us as a country and as a global village. We should be awared of the common values we share in this international scenario comprised of so many ethnic groups and beliefs. The use of multicultural music can help with this unifying vision. Nevertheless, the status of world music in instrumental settings is minimum or almost non-existent.

In the professional performance aspect, the presentation of multicultural music in orchestras or small chamber ensembles is not very common. Furthermore, the creation of multicultural music for orchestras is rarely promoted by presenting organizations or by the administration of established symphonic organizations. Moreover, if multicultural performances are presented, information about its origins and its cross-cultural relationship is not usually provided to the audiences.

In the educational aspect, the MMG supports the schools to comply with the national educational reform, which includes the application of multicultural music instruction. Unfortunately, this topic is not usually included in the teachers training curricula and consequently in the schools’ music programs, especially in instrumental music instruction for symphonic settings.

Therefore, in order to improve the aforementioned situations, the MMG provides music instruction, professional development, and multicultural performances in the symphonic setting with a research component, which provides information about the origins and development of different musical genres.

History

The Multicultural Music Group, Inc. is a non-profit organization established in 1996 as a response to the need of multicultural music representation in the symphonic repertoire, the teacher training curricula and the instrumental music programs in the schools.

As a result of the paucity of multicultural music in instrumental settings and the need for cultural understanding among ethnic groups, the organization had a great acceptance by different audiences and educational institutions in New York City.

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Mission

The basic mission of the MMG is to provide performances, instruction and professional development in multicultural music as a tool to promote global understanding, cultural awareness, and academic achievement.

The presentations, training and instruction provide the constituents the opportunity to experience artistic growth and cultural awareness through the acquisition of specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes that contribute to a more harmonious society and a better lifelong enjoyment of music.

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Programs

The MMG’s Multicultural Music Encounters annual series (MME) is the professional component of the Multicultural Music Group. Since 1996 the MMG has produced an annual concert series in which composers from different cultures are commissioned to write a symphonic piece that presents a major historical event from a particular region of the world which had with minor media and/or curricular exposure. The Multicultural Music Encounters (MME) have been a success for the development of new symphonic repertoire with a multicultural focus and the support of cultural awareness in the NYC communities.

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The Professional Development Workshops is the MMG component that provides information and training to students, artists and professionals in education on how to understand MMG’s “Playing History” curriculum.

Playing History is structured in six major aspects: research of historical events, the performance of original music depicting those events, reflection of the music/history combination, the use of marketing strategies in the arts, the application of fundraising procedures for sustainability purposes, and community collaboration for program enhancement.

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The Symphonic Youth Program (SYP) provides instrumental and vocal music instruction to students in grades 6th to 12th in public schools of Washington Heights, Harlem, Staten Island and the South Bronx. The main goals of the SYP are to promote music & academic proficiency, social skills and social justice awareness. The main objectives of the SYP focuses on developing the passion for music through guided session in aesthetic experiences, increase performance skills for admissions in specialized music programs, and to promote social skills and better academic achievement through group reflection and historical research.

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