Workshops and Residencies for Grades 5+

In the long term, both residency and performance gave legitimacy and merit to our overall education goal.  Because it was such a successful process with such an overwhelmingly positive outcome, it lends credibility to our continued efforts to expand our educational outreach.  And, it should encourage continued giving to the theater.

The residency certainly made strong impact not only on the students but also the faculty and staff.  The reaction was so solidly affirming — even students who as a general rule don’t speak up or engage were doing just that by the end of the residency sessions.

The performance made a lasting impact on our patrons.  It was thought provoking and not soon forgotten. This was a highly skilled style of musical storytelling, a unique departure from the ordinary, and it surpassed attendance expectation.

Guy Mendilow was not only a pleasure to work with, his process and product exceeded expectations.  The ensemble was worldly, interesting and humble.  Such a treat for us to have the opportunity to present. 
— Erin Butler, Executive Director, Wyo Theater, Sheridan, WY

Springboard Songwriting/Storytelling Residencies

• Ages: Grades 5+ • Length: 60-120 minutes • 3-5 days • Group Size: Please contact us to discuss your objectives

  • How can we make our own stories include others, so that they resonate more deeply?
  • How can we increase the relevance of our stories so that others will listen? 
  • What is the role of music in adding emotional power to our words? 

Springboard Songwriting/Storytelling residencies give participants tools they can use to make their stories speak more strongly. 

The Wyo Theater (Sheridan, WY) asked the Guy Mendilow Ensemble to lead a songwriting/storytelling residency at the WY Girls School, a therapeutic and educational facility for the treatment of court-ordered “delinquent” girls between the ages of 12-21. The residency purpose was to arm these courageous young people with techniques and tools to make their stories resonate with others, including adults who might ordinarily dismiss them. This is the result.

A Reason to Relate Across Demographic Differences

Springboard Songwriting/Storytelling residencies can also spark vital opportunities for participants from different demographics to forge meaningful connections with through collaborative art. 

In such residencies, students from one school create audio that is then animated by a similarly aged cohort of students in a different community. The joint project impels pre-production student conversation via Skype followed by post-production presentions their mutual work in both schools, complete with artist receptions and talk-backs (the artists are the students!)

We believe that it is increasingly important for young people to be able work with, and appreciate, peers from cultural, linguistic and socio-economic backgrounds different from their own. Likewise, it is crucial for young people to navigate their day-to-day lives knowing that there are many possible “correct” perspectives besides their own, and feeling a personal need for social justice and equality. Yet many young people do not have the opportunity to develop relationships with others from vastly different backgrounds. For other students, “diversity” is an abstract intellectual concept that doesn’t touch their personal lives, even though it’s touted by adults around them. Springboard Residencies provide a framework for meaningful engagement across cultural, socio-economic and linguistic boundaries. Youth from urban and suburban schools work together on tangible projects in which each person has a stake, to which each person contributes substantially, and from which all derive a feeling of capability and accomplishment. 

Sailors, Sirens & Kings: The Adventure of Ladino Song

• Ages: Grades 5+ • Length: 60-90 minutes • Single Session • Best for intimate classroom presentation

Through story and song, this classroom program introduces students to the richness and history of Sephardic cultures from the former Ottoman Empire.

  • Who are the Sephardim?

  • Why is the endangered Ladino language like a time capsule?

  • What is it about these stories that makes them live on in our imaginations, even when they come from very different times and places?


The Forgotten Kingdom (for grades 5-6)

• Ages: Grades 5-6 • Length: 45-60 minutes • Single session • Class visit, youth series theatre performance or school assembly • Group Size: Suitable for groups of any size though best for intimate numbers
• Click to download The Forgotten Kingdom (Grades 5-6) Sample Teachers' Guide (PDF) 

A version of the The Forgotten Kingdom adapted for grades 5-6.
Embark on a musical trek through a nearly lost world with Guy Mendilow Ensemble’s The Forgotten Kingdom. Journey through former Ottoman lands starting in Sarajevo and winding through Salónica in a narrative-driven performance reimagining the historical record of Sephardic communities of the Balkans and Mediterranean.

In this sweeping adventure brought to life by an "international tour-de-force" (Bethlehem Morning Call) from the Middle East, South and North America, music and storytelling conjure an imagi-nation lost to war, recorded in a language that blends archaic Spanish with Turkish and Greek. The bittersweet yearning of fado, the rhythmic and emotional intensity of flamenco combine with cinematic arrangements stirring those familiar with the culture and those new to it.

Rendering stories and songs of an older age with drama, humour and heart, The Forgotten Kingdom finds highly resonant, deeply moving connections to contemporary struggles, debates, and dilemmas. It’s a performance that "explodes with artistry, refinement, and excitement." (Hebrew Union College, OH)

Awarded National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant for public engagement with diverse and excellent art
and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

Our school audiences were absolutely enthralled by the Guy Mendilow Ensemble. Guy’s compelling presence draws young people into a musical and narrative journey that sparkles with humor and humanity, compassion and joy.

The Forgotten Kingdom opens a space to experience Ladino music and culture from a contemporary perspective, through the captivating and soulful singing of Sofia Tosello and Guy Mendilow, and the sensitive musicality of the entire ensemble.

In addition to his consummate musicianship, Guy Mendilow brought a high level of organization, responsiveness, and generosity to his residency that were an absolute joy to work with.
— Emily Laugesen, Co-Director Of Engagement, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Urbana, IL

    Around The World — In Rounds!

    Ages:  Grade 5+ • Length: 60-90 minutes  • Single workshop • Suitable for Groups of Any Size

    Join us for a fun participatory song session. Rounds are an easy, exciting way for everyone to be part of fulfilling music-making, regardless of previous experience. Avid round collector Guy Mendilow shares some gems from around the world, skillfully accompanied by his band. No prior training needed - just come prepared to have a great time singing together. Have a favorite round to share? Bring it! 

    Geared for song leaders looking to use rounds in their work and for all lovers of song.

    Guy Mendilow

    M.M. Longy School of Music; International Certificate, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Longy School of Music; B.A. Oberlin College

    Guy Mendilow is Director of Music and Education for the Guy Mendilow Ensemble, "An international tour de force” (Bethlehem Morning Call) from the Middle-East, South and North America. The Ensemble combines world-class musicianship with cinematic storytelling in shows that “explode with artistry, refinement, and excitement” (Hebrew Union College), whisking audiences to distant times and picturesque places to stir highly resonant connections to contemporary struggles and dilemmas.  

    The Guy Mendilow Ensemble was distinguished by the National Endowment for the Arts for public engagement with diverse and excellent art and the strengthening of communities through the arts, and is the recipient of grant awards from foundations like The Boston Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, Arts Midwest and Western Arts Alliance.

    Alongside performance, Mendilow is active in music education, pursuing Dalcroze Education as a means of cultivating musicality while fostering vital skills such as deep focus and the sense of contribution, capability and belonging that together form esteem. Mendilow designs custom artist residencies for leading performing arts organizations like Celebrity Series of Boston and including innovative storytelling/songwriting projects with at-risk populations.

    Mendilow’s research interests include music and culture of Sephardic communities  of Salónica,in the early twentieth  century.

    Mendilow is a guest artist-lecturer in  universities across the U.S. including Harvard University, Cornell University, Brandeis University, Oberlin College, University of Oregon and the University of Washington, leads children's workshops in schools worldwide and directs the Dalcroze School of Boston, offering Dalcroze Education for children and adults in the Boston area.