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Rehearsal before the El Sistema showcase

META Fellowship


The META Fellowship is designed to balance the individual learning goals and interests of each Fellow with the development of a community of practice that continues to provide value after the two-year programs ends. The META Fellowship program includes the following four components:

  • Workshops
  • Site visits
  • Professional/Artistic Development Grants
  • Showcase Projects

Each component is designed to help the Fellows to enhance their skills, develop experience and be supported by a community of practice while at the same time, balancing individual and group learning. In recognition of the time commitment of the Fellowship program, all Fellows receive an annual stipend.

Through professional and artistic development grants and showcase projects, Fellows can pursue areas they find important as artists and educators. Through site visits and workshops, Fellows are able to use the music learning ecosystem of Massachusetts as a campus for learning, developing new relationships and identifying existing resources that can support their practice.

Program Components

The content of the workshops was developed to address a perceived gap between the training that many Fellows receive in their higher education experiences and the needs of young people and communities on the ground. Specifically, several workshops focus on the development of frameworks and tools related to pedagogy, student engagement/classroom management, cultural competency, and youth development training. The workshops train the Fellows to authentically engage with young people as collaborators, elevating their voices to become leaders in their own learning. Other sessions focus on examining research that supports and informs music learning among youth and presenting the projects of Fellows.

Past workshop presenters have included:

  • Eric Booth – Teaching Artistry around the world
  • Lorrie Heagy – Student Engagement
  • BEST Initiative – Youth Worker Training for Artists
  • Dennie Palmer Wolf – Research-informed pedagogy and advocacy
  • The Silk Road Ensemble – Cultural Competency: Listening across difference
  • Dr. Bettina Love – Abolitionist Teaching, Hip Hop Civics, & Creativity

Site Visits
Each Fellow is expected to visit at least two programs of other Fellows for each year of the Fellowship. These visits are intended to develop stronger connections between programs, and help Fellows to learn new pedagogical skills and increase their awareness of the resources available to positively impact youth.

After each visit, Fellows write a brief report detailing their learning as well as outlining the challenges they observed. This report is shared out during workshop time with the entire cohort.

Professional Development and Artistic Grants
Over the course of two years, all Fellows have access to up to $3,000 for professional and artistic development relevant to their teaching and interests.

Past grants have included travel to conferences, continuing education courses at local universities, certification courses in Orff and Kodaly, performance and recording opportunities, and residencies with master teachers.

Showcase Projects
The META Fellowship culminates with a showcase event where groups of Fellows present new tools and resources they have created in response to specific needs in their classrooms and communities. By connecting the assets of the Fellowship to broader needs in the field, the program is seeking to have a broader impact on other educators who may share problems of practice, but do so in isolation. See examples of Fellow-Created Resources.

Music educators and teaching artists deserve to be paid fairly for their time. All Fellows currently receive a $1,500 stipend each year for their time in Fellowship activities. These stipends are distributed in November of each year of the Fellowship and are paid directly to organizations or schools. These entities are responsible for directing payment to the Fellows.

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