PhD Student, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
New York, New York

Born and raised in San Jose, CA, Elaine Chang Sandoval is currently pursuing doctoral studies in ethnomusicology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York as a Presidential MAGNET Fellow. 

Originally trained as a classical pianist, flautist, and conductor, she has spent the past several years researching and working with El Sistema, the movement for social action through music education begun in Venezuela. Elaine graduated from Soka University of America with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts/Humanities (summa cum laude), and from the University of Oxford with a Master of Studies in the social and cultural study of music. She also had the privilege of being a 2013 Sistema Fellow at NEC and currently works in a research capacity for Sistema Global. 

Elaine’s recent and ongoing work focuses on cosmopolitanism and cultural responsiveness as related to El Sistema, and is generally concerned with how music education can contribute to peace and social justice in the context of globalization. In addition to her academic work, she hopes in the future to build an ensemble-based cosmopolitan music education project inspired by El Sistema and Soka education.

Elaine has presented internationally about El Sistema, including at the International Society for Music Education World Conference, International Peace Research Association Conference, Soka Education Conference, In Harmony Liverpool Research Network Conference, Take a Stand, and the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain graduate summer school. She also works with WolfBrown, supporting in evaluations of El Sistema-inspired programs.

Photo: Stephanie Kimura