Latest from the blog

Article in the Washington Post

On 27 May, an article that I co-authored with William Cheng appeared in the Washington Post. It tackles a difficult subject that I have been investigating for a decade: sexual harassment and abuse within Venezuela’s El Sistema. The story was followed up by Norman Lebrecht on Slipped Disc. This is not the first time that… Read More

In praise of conflict

Conflict is a good thing. This is, in essence, the message of Conflicted, a new book by Ian Leslie. Conflict can draw us together, make us smarter, and inspire us to be more creative. It can “force people to consider other perspectives, think more deeply about what they’re trying to accomplish, and fertilise new ideas.”… Read More

Doing things differently

What does a mentorship program for troubled boys in 1940s Boston, USA, have in common with a social dancing program for older adults in 2010s Sydney, Australia? Both were assumed to benefit participants, and both were subjected to randomized controlled trials (RCTs), which discovered—to the researchers’ surprise and even consternation—that the programs did not have… Read More

New book out!

My new book, Rethinking Social Action through Music: The Search for Coexistence and Citizenship in Medellín’s Music Schools, has now been published by Open Book Publishers.

This book examines the Network of Music Schools of Medellín, founded to promote peaceful coexistence in Colombia’s second city, once known as the most dangerous city on Earth. The program’s history of multiple reinventions and its continual search for improvement shed valuable light on the past, present, and future of Social Action Through Music.

News & projects

Recent article: “El Sistema, ‘El milagro musical venezolano’: La construcción de un mito global.”

Imposing Harmony: Music and Society in Colonial Cuzco has just been published in Spanish translation as Armonía dominante. Música y sociedad en el Cusco colonial.

I am currently working as Director of Research at Agrigento, and as co-investigator on a 3-year international research project on the social impact of making music.

For full information on my research projects, see here.

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