Education Through Music, Inc.

Education Through Music (ETM) was formed in 1991 with a mission to promote the use of music in inner-city schools and schools in disadvantaged areas, as a means of enhancing students' academic performance and general development. At ETM, we believe every child deserves a well-rounded education: one that includes music both as a subject in its own right and as a means of supporting learning in other areas. ETM makes music education a reality for thousands of children who would otherwise have limited or no exposure to the arts, uses music instruction to strengthen students' ability to learn in all areas, and works to build schools' capacity to sustain programs.
Feb 6, 2015

Ensembles Help Students Shine

A cellist poses before performing
A cellist poses before performing

Your support is giving new and rewarding opportunities to inner-city children throughout New York. Only a month has passed since the New Year—and our students have already impressed and inspired us with what they’ve accomplished! Partner schools held Breakfast with the Band/Orchestra concerts in January, giving beginning ensemble students a chance to showcase their new skills. After just a few months of practicing—many of these students had no prior instrumental experience—the ensembles played with confidence and professionalism for their friends and families.

One ETM teacher, who teaches both general music and string orchestra, took a moment to reflect on how much one of her students (a fifth grader this year) has matured since picking up the viola.

“Ramon’s mother told me one day that she has constantly tried to get Ramon into different after school activities, such a swimming, basketball and art classes, but nothing ever really stuck with him,” she writes.     

“Last year, Ramon began playing the viola with me [through ETM’s program]. He fell in love with the instrument and playing in an ensemble. Ramon’s mother let me know that playing the viola is all Ramon ever wants to do. He practices almost every night, he looks up violists on [YouTube] to watch and listen to and he is always talking about music. Ramon is one of the best violists in my group. I can tell that the practicing had paid off. Ramon was fortunate enough to earn a scholarship to [a] summer music program last summer, where he learned more about how to play the viola from professional strings players. His technique has grown since the summer. Ramon is currently looking for middle schools that have an orchestra program and is looking for a private teacher.

 “He is friendly, kind and absolutely loves music! I can always count on Ramon to not only be a great musician, but a good helper and a leader during all music classes.

“I am very proud of all that Ramon has accomplished in the short year and a half that I have known him.”

Playing the viola has helped Ramon find focus and passion. And thanks to your support, Education Through Music is giving thousands more students in the New York City area the same kinds of opportunities. As always, thank you!

March is “Music In Our Schools Month,” a time to celebrate comprehensive and sequential music education nationwide. Show your support for ETM by forwarding this report to a friend or family member—they’ll be eager to make a difference, for Ramon and for all our students!

Onstage at the ETM Festival last summer
Onstage at the ETM Festival last summer

Links:

Dec 4, 2014

Holiday Cheer with Education Through Music

Students sing for their friends and family!
Students sing for their friends and family!

The holiday season is an inspiring time for Education Through Music’s partner schools—and especially for those in their first year of working with ETM. After months of focused preparation, students perform in festive year-end concerts for family and friends (and for many of them, it’s their first time on stage!). Music teachers pause to take pride in how much their students have grown since only September. And we at ETM thank YOU for your dedicated support of inner-city music education. You make it all possible!

One music teacher, who works at two of ETM’s first-year partner schools, enthusiastically shares how her students have found joy and confidence through music class:

“In all of my classes, I have watched students come out of their shells… I have my students singing, dancing, acting, and playing instruments. I think being aware and comfortable of your body and movement is important in everyday life.  It's amazing because every day I notice more and more students becoming confident in their own skin.” 

She describes how singing has given one troubled student a constructive outlet for his emotions:

“One student, in particular, is known for having anger issues and physically lashing out.  In my eyes, though, this student is extremely musical and has a lot of potential.  My class gives him the opportunity to shine and show a different side to his personality that many teachers or staff rarely get to see.  One fact that many would not know about this student is that he LOVES the song, ‘If I Could Fly Like A Snowflake.’  The first week I introduced this song, I could see a spark in his eyes.  He was singing and dancing and he was genuinely happy.  As I said, this student is known for his unsafe behavior.  I see him in a completely different light.  I see him as the student who is enthusiastic about music and who loves to sing.  Whenever I see this student in a bad mood, I always remind him of the ‘Snowflake’ song and he instantly starts to regain control.  Music has the ability to lift one’s spirits and change how we perceive the world around us.  To this one young student, this song reminds him of happier thoughts and is able to help him get through rough parts of the day.” 

Music has given this child an opportunity to express himself in a way that other classes have not. Singing helps him control his emotions and gives his teachers and school staff a better picture of his potential. Stories like this underscore how ETM values music education: as a subject important in its own right, and as a tool for promoting growth and development in other areas—emotional, social, and academic. 5,000 students are receiving these opportunities for the very first time this year, as their schools have just begun partnering with ETM. We couldn’t give these opportunities to deserving students without your support. Thank you!

Please forward this report to your family and friends and encourage them to learn about ETM. Have a wonderful holiday!

With sincere thanks,

The ETM Staff

Partner school students shine on stage!
Partner school students shine on stage!

Links:

Nov 11, 2014

See what's new this fall at Education Through Music!

Singing for Darius Rucker and Little Big Town
Singing for Darius Rucker and Little Big Town

With the fall semester underway, ETM’s partner school students have been hard at work learning new skills (and having fun!) in their music classes and ensembles. Your support has set these students up for a rewarding and successful year to come!

Students have had access to several exciting musical opportunities since you last heard from us. In early September, a group of partner school students performed for country stars Darius Rucker and Little Big Town at the Country Music Awards announcements in Times Square. Singing Rucker’s hit song “Wagon Wheel,” the students left their audience impressed and delighted by the performance.

With your help, ETM has expanded in-school programs this fall, reaching more students than ever with our core general music programs. We were also able to expand enrichment activities, and provide students with more ways to practice and enjoy making music. After-school choral ensembles for grades 4-5 and 7-8 are being offered in 28 of our partner schools, and band and orchestra ensembles in 18 schools. These activities give interested students a deeper experience of what it’s like to rehearse and perform as a group. Music teachers recruited students for the electives during September and October, and we’re looking forward to their debut performances this winter!

ETM’s partner school program has grown tremendously this school year. Your support has helped ETM to extend its reach to 20,000 students in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens—an increase of 5,000 students from last year. Your commitment to children’s music education makes this kind of progress possible. So thank you! If you would like to visit one of our schools, to see a class or a concert, please just ask.

Share your enthusiasm for ETM by forwarding this report to friends or family members. Help them make a difference, too! 

With thanks,

The ETM Staff

This drummer keeps a steady beat!
This drummer keeps a steady beat!

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