Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth

May 9, 2014

Teachers See the Impact of Music this 2013-14 Year

Alberto, 4th Grader
Alberto, 4th Grader

Thank you for helping to empower children through music education.  This 2013-14 school year, Education Through Music-LA is serving approximately 6,000 children with sequential, comprehensive weekly music instruction and we are seeing the positive results first-hand.

We want to share story of 4th grader from Norwood Elementary School, Alberto, who his mother this year says he felt “secluded”. “I like music so much because it helps me to calm myself down when I am stressed or angry and I feel is the only way to I can express my emotions out. Music helps me to remember things. Music helps me focus in school, ” says Alberto.  

His mother, Sara also shares, “Alberto has been the kind of child that day dreams a lot, and that was affecting his grades.” However, things have changed since he started learning music in school and participating in the band program:

[Music and band classes] have helped him a lot to overcome this habit, we are still working with him and I believe in the power that music could possibly instill in someone, and I see the results are happening...the more he plays, the more I see he is able to focus more on what he is doing, because it requires a lot of concentration on his part; and I’ve seen that he is now coming to a conclusion that school and music have the same connection in the sense that requires his full attention in order to learn new tones and notes to make the right song.

Teachers also see the impact of music, with 82.5% of classroom teachers in our partner schools noting that the music program has increased their students' focus in school.

"We are not just teaching music, we are teaching life skills that are going to stay with these children for the rest of their lives; by learning to welcome challenges in music class, they are not going to avoid something in life just because it is hard," shares ETM-LA Music Teacher Nicole Elliott.

Music has provided such joy and self-confidence for the children, who are all excited to showcase their learning this spring! This past April over 125 students from our partner schools across LA County came together for our Music Unites the World Festival to learn from and make music with Christophe Beck (Composer, Disney’s Frozen), Tim Davies (Score Orchestrator, Frozen) and Evelyn Halus (Vocal Coach, Jennifer Lopez, Neil Patrick Harris).  And this month of May they’ll not only perform in their school concerts but 2 school groups from Castelar and Dorris Place Elementary will join Actor Dermot Mulroney (August: Osage County / My Best Friend’s Wedding) and LA Philharmonic Artists Bing Wang and Joanne Pearce Martin on May 24th for our 3rd Annual Keep the Music Playing Concert!  We hope you will join us!

We look forward to sharing more updates about our in-school music programs and our plans to expand our reach next year to an additional 1,000 more children in Los Angeles County.  Thank you for helping us further our mission so every child may have hope for a brighter future!

Trumpet Student at the Music Unites Festival
Trumpet Student at the Music Unites Festival


Feb 6, 2014

Music Helps a Child be More of a Leader

Veteran Teacher Christine DeMore leads Training
Veteran Teacher Christine DeMore leads Training

At the start of the 2014 year, Education Through Music-LA resumed music classes at our 13 partner schools serving over 6,000 children. To prepare for the music classroom, ETM-LA led professional development trainings for music teachers with pedagogical workshops presented by ETM-LA Shining Star and Veteran Teacher Christine DeMore and Program Director Ryan Rowles. Teachers appreciated coming together to further hone their teaching skills. One shared, "I'm very excited for the semester to get started!" In January we also led our 5th Annual Principals Leadership Conference to support school leaders in sustaining their music programs for the long-term.

In our efforts to continue ensuring that every child receives quality music education in school, Executive Director Victoria Lanier joined over fifty arts and cultural leaders in a round table discussion with the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to brainstorm ways to make Los Angeles a strong cultural leader.

Jose, a fifth grader at partner school, Castelar Elementary shares, “When I play new cello songs, it makes me feel challenged and excited to hear and see how fast my fingers can go and it also inspires me. After I perform in a concert, I feel confident. Music helps me to be more of a leader, focused, and calm. Music motivates me to go to school.”

We welcome you to visit our music classes in action at anytime and to become an advocate!  Please visit us at and see our new PSA!  Thank you for your ongoing support, partnership and dedication to keep music in schools for every child! 

Actor Ed Helms at ETM-LA
Actor Ed Helms at ETM-LA's Benefit (Jose, far R)


Oct 30, 2013

The Power of Partnerships

ETM-LA Students from West Hollywood Perform
ETM-LA Students from West Hollywood Perform

In our 8th year of programming in Los Angeles County, thanks to the tremendous support from contributors like you, Education Through Music-Los Angeles is now serving approximately 6,000 students in 13 disadvantaged schools located in the Burbank, Compton, Los Angeles, Pasadena Unified School Districts and Greater Los Angeles.

This Fall we kicked off new partnerships with 3 additional schools – Guardian Angel (Pacoima), KIPP Iluminar (East Los Angeles) and Washington Elementary (Burbank) - and expanded existing programs: band instruction at Norwood and Rio Vista Elementary along with glee clubs at Foster (Compton) and West Hollywood Elementary.  Furthermore, the ukulele has been in popular demand by our communities and schools, prompting the inclusion of ukulele instruction in our general music curriculum! 

We are also thrilled to be partnering with local and wide-scale organizations to spread our mission!  From teaming up with Lit Up Writers and American Fiction Writer Holiday Reinhorn, the Fab Faux, Gary Oldman, to singing with Jon Huertas (TV’s Castle) and top a cappella groups around the nation, we are so honored to be working alongside tremendous advocates and artists to ensure every child has equal access to a quality music education in school.

Come join us!  We welcome you to visit our music classes in action at anytime or to attend one of Education Through Music-Los Angeles’ exciting events!  Visit:

Thank you for your ongoing support, partnership and dedication to keep music in schools for every child! 

Music Teachers Receive Training on Ukuleles
Music Teachers Receive Training on Ukuleles


Aug 8, 2013

Summer Strings and Training

Sydney Smiles with her Violin
Sydney Smiles with her Violin

Although schools were out for the summer, the music continued at Education Through Music-Los Angeles.  Violin students gathered at the St. Sebastian School on a Saturday in June to participate in a videotaping of our first Public Service Announcement, granted by the Women in Film PSA Production Program.  Students got to experience first-hand a film production while they played their violins and showcased the music they learned this year.  The PSA will be released this Fall 2013.

Violin student, Sunny from Castelar proudly performed music for a group of guests at our recent Music & A Makeover fundraiser event in Burbank, along with artists Deborah Hurwitz (Music Director/Conductor Jersey Boys, Cirque du Soleil), Aliza Pearl, and Hannah Emerson.  “I want to be a lawyer and a violinist when I grow up,” says Sunny.

Education Through Music-Los Angeles is gearing up for a week of intensive teacher training in Oberlin with all of the ETM affiliates in the nation and also join with music educators from Oberlin and Cleveland Institute of Music, and at the end of August, we will locally host in Los Angeles a professional development institute for both new and veteran music teachers. 

We are excited for the upcoming school year as we serve two new schools and an additional 1,000 children – a total of approximately 6,500 children with yearlong music education.

Thank you for your ongoing dedication and support!

May 9, 2013

Spring is abuzz with music

Students Across Los Angeles Join to Make Music
Students Across Los Angeles Join to Make Music

Spring is abuzz with music-making!  In April, 150 band, strings, recorder, guitar and choral students from 12 diverse schools around Los Angeles – from Downtown to Compton, Sylmar to Pasadena – joined together as part of our 3rd Annual Music Unites the World Festival.  The event kicked-off with coaching sessions for both the 95-piece orchestra and the 55-member choir by top artist-educators Joe Kraemer (Composer, Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise) and Misha Shtangrud (Choir Director, Colburn School of Music). Kraemer engaged the children immediately with his warm and gregarious personality, rehearsing them on their instrumental works of “Fiddler’s Hoedown” (Folk Song/arr. Robert Gillespie) and “Samba del Sol” (Doug Spata). Shtangrud, with his playful demeanor, coached the vocal students on their songs, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Dry Your Tears, Afrika.” Joselyn Wilkinson, percussionist, filled out the performances with her djembé and call and response activities for both the students and parents.

In May, we were honored to host 11-year-old piano prodigy Ray Ushikubo (NPR’s From the TopTonight Show) in our 2nd Annual Keep the Music Playing Event to raise awareness and support for our in-school music education programs. He wowed the crowd with pieces like Ginastera’s Danzas Argentinas Op.. 2 and Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.

This month, over 5,500 music students from our 12 schools will showcase their learning and skills.  Please join us in support of our students at one of their concerts!  Find a concert near you and RSVP at

Thank you for championing music for every child!


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Project Leader

Victoria Lanier

Executive Director
Burbank, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth