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.
May 5, 2015

Making A Fresh Start Through Music

Happy Spring from ETM! Our partner school students have been hard at work mastering new music skills and becoming better learners. Your support has helped our partner school program provide quality, weekly music instruction to 20,000 students and has served as an investment in a brighter future for them. What better way to celebrate spring than to share with you the story of one student’s fresh start!

Music class helped Jackson, a 5th grader at P.S. 169 in the Bronx, to deal with loss and turn over a new leaf. Jackson had established a reputation as a happy, well-behaved student with a passion for music. His ETM music teacher, Ms. Gonzalez, described him as a “wonderful singer and cellist, a talented rapper, and all around musician.” But over winter break, Jackson experienced a personal loss in his home life when his father had to move back to his native country. Jackson was very upset over his father’s departure, and started acting out at school. However, there was one place where he was not acting out: music class. Ms. Gonzalez noticed that, “Music class is the one place where Jackson acts like the happy Jackson I’ve known since last year.” Unfortunately, because of his poor behavior in other areas of school, Jackson was removed from the orchestra for two weeks. His music teacher and assistant principal then developed a plan to allow Jackson back into orchestra on the condition that he improve his behavior in his other classes “[Because] Jackson loves orchestra and music, he is trying his hardest to be the model student he was before,” reveals Ms. Gonzalez. Music is keeping Jackson engaged with school and giving him the determination he needs to turn his behavior and attitude around. 

His remarkable improvement was illustrated recently after Ms. Gonzalez finished a unit on hip-hop. Jackson and four of his classmates decided to start a hip-hop club that would meet during lunch. Forty-six 5th-graders have signed up for the club -- over half of the entire 5th grade at P.S. 169! The students are writing their own raps, composing beats, and choreographing dances together twice a week. Jackson is exercising leadership skills and participating in a positive activity. Ms. Gonzalez shared, “Without music, Jackson would be lost. Music is keeping him safe, secure, and giving him a healthy outlet for his emotions. I am happy to have Jackson in my class, and will be sad to see him move onto middle school next year.” The student who was once considered difficult and troubled has now become a leader and inspiration to his peers because of music education.

Education Through Music’s partner school program supports students’ social and emotional development. Many other students are benefiting from their music instruction just like Jackson through an increase in their self-esteem, self-confidence, and motivation for school. Jackson’s story is just one example of what children can accomplish when music is a part of their school routine. Thank you for changing the lives of our students! Help us promote music education in inner-city schools by sharing this report with your friends and family. Let them know the impact their donation can have on deserving students like Jackson!

Students enjoy a guitar lesson!
Students enjoy a guitar lesson!

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Mar 3, 2015

Dramatic Transformations at P.S. 109

Students sing in an elementary school chorus.
Students sing in an elementary school chorus.

We’re over halfway through the school year, and your support of our 1st-Year Partner School Programs is having an extraordinary impact on our students!  Thanks to you, thousands of children throughout New York City are experiencing dramatic transformations within themselves since receiving music education as part of their school routine.

Mr. Schatz, a music teacher at partner school P.S. 109, reflected on the positive influence music education has had on his 4th-grade student, William. 

“William has an excitable personality and often has difficulty focusing in class. He decided to join the after-school chorus program, and has expressed a serious interest in drumming. I believe the simple act of making music has offered this child the opportunity to excel at something outside of his day-to-day life. Since joining the chorus and getting to play instruments, I have noticed his focus improve, and he has been continually asking, no--begging me to start a drum ensemble! It makes me feel really great that music is resonating with him so much. In addition, his mom is thrilled that he is participating in the program, and showing initiative.”

William’s transformation reflects the key improvements ETM seeks to achieve in students through our Partner School Program: increase children’s academic achievement and self-confidence, boost their motivation for school, and spark a deep interest in music. 

Your support made William’s transformation possible by bringing ETM to his school. P.S. 109 is a K-5 school located in a low socioeconomic area in the West Bronx that began its partnership with ETM this school year. Because of YOU, all of P.S. 109’s 820 students are now receiving music as a core subject. Our partnership began when Principal Claudio was referred by Principal Reyes of P.S. 103, a school which was already partnering with ETM.  In addition to the core general music instruction and after-school chorus provided in collaboration by ETM and P.S. 109, we hope to strengthen the program in the future by adding a band ensemble. One exceptional moment of success at P.S. 109 occurred last fall when Carmen Fariña, the New York City Chancellor for the Department of Education visited the school, and the 4th- and 5th-grade choir performed at a ceremony. 

Your continued support enables ETM to embark upon new partnerships, widen our reach of students, and enrich more communities. Deserving students like William wouldn’t be afforded the opportunity to grow and succeed without your support. We thank you for transforming the lives of these children through music education!

Student groove to the beat of their drums!
Student groove to the beat of their drums!

Links:

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

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