Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth

 
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John Williams with ETM-LA Music Students
John Williams with ETM-LA Music Students

Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA) raised support and awareness at our 7th annual benefit gala honoring this year’s recipients of the Shining Star Award: legendary Academy Award®-winning composer John Williams and music teacher (Los Angeles Unified School District) Linda Mouradian at the Skirball Cultural Center on Nov. 4. The “Shining Star” honorees are individuals whose contribution through music has changed lives.  “Through music, they inspire, guide, impart courage, and give us wings to reach our dreams,” says ETM-LA Executive Director, Victoria Lanier.

Grammy-Winning Cellist Lynn Harrell, Los Angeles Philharmonic Associate Concertmaster, Bing Wang, and LA Philharmonic Principal Keyboardist, Joanne Pearce Martin gave stunning performances of works by Williams, including Schindler’s List and Memoirs of a Geisha.  Honorary chairs of the gala were Joshua Bell, Richard Dreyfuss, Jim Gianopulos, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall. 

Arguably the biggest stars may have been the young music students of the Education Through Music-LA program.  The first ensemble was comprised of string students from Castelar (LAUSD), Norwood (LAUSD), and Providencia (Burbank) Elementary Schools, as well as Mouradian’s students from Topeka Drive Elementary (LAUSD), who performed an arrangement of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”They were followed by a choir ensemble of students from Cleveland (Pasadena), Foster (Compton), Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Rio Vista (LAUSD), St. Ignatius and West Hollywood (LAUSD) on an arrangement of Williams’ “Dry Your Tears Afrika” (from Amistad) which garnered a standing ovation from Williams himself. 

As he accepted his Shining Star Award, John Williams shared the importance of music education in children’s lives and its impact on all of us - "While we have the best orchestras and arts institutions in the world, we can’t afford to lag behind in arts education, and music in particular, as these studies form the foundation that supports our country’s cultural life and intellectual vigor.”  Williams also praised the work of fellow honoree, Mouradian for her long-time dedication to children and to the field of music education.   

Honoree Linda Mouradian, who has taught for over 34 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District shared in her award acceptance speech, “Music is an essential element in our humanity…It has the unique ability to cross all cultures. Beethoven’s 9th, Penny Lane, Thriller and…Star Wars and Harry Potter are recognizable around the world. When the world seems to be dividing can we afford to lose one more unifying connection?”

Other stars who came to support the cause included Harry Shum, Jr. (Actor, Glee), Christopher Young (Composer, Rum Diary, Sinister), Christophe Beck (Composer, The Hangover, Pitch Perfect), Christopher Scott (Choreographer, So You Think You Can Dance), Mark Isham (Composer, Once Upon A Time, Warrior), Jon M. Chu (Director, G.I. Joe, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never) and Christopher Lennertz (Composer, Revolution; ETM-LA Board Director). 

We are grateful for your ongoing support to ensure more children receive the benefits of a well-rounded education that includes music and the arts.  Whether rain or shine, all children should be given the opportunity to smile and shine through the joy of learning music. Despite the enormous continuing budget cuts, with your partnership and contribution, Education Through Music-LA will continue to keep music alive in our schools.

We are grateful for you, and wish you all the best for this upcoming holiday season!

ETM-LA students sing Williams
ETM-LA students sing Williams' music from Amistad

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Sarah Loves Learning Music and the Recorder
Sarah Loves Learning Music and the Recorder

As ETM-LA embarks on its seventh year of programming in Los Angeles County, we are thrilled to expand our partnerships to serve approximately 5,500 students.  ETM-LA will continue serving schools in the Burbank, Compton, and Los Angeles Unified School Districts, as well as begin a new partnership with Pasadena Unified School District.

ETM-LA will join forces with the Pasadena Unified to help close the achievement gap at Cleveland Elementary School.  PUSD recently approved a ‘worst-case scenario’ budget plan that incorporates reductions of $17.1 million, including possible cuts in all elementary arts education. “Despite an increasingly hostile budget environment I applaud the PUSD for doing all it can to maintain music programs in every one of its schools. They see the importance of it, and so do we,” says ETM-LA Board Member and long-time Pasadena resident, Louis Gutierrez.

This past school year, ETM-LA collaborated with Burbank Arts for All and VH1 Save the Music Foundations to provide sequential and comprehensive music education to every child in Providencia Elementary School, including strings instruction for every 4th and 5th grader. The community proudly championed their new music program, earning a featured spot in the coveted National Association for Music Education’s Music in Our Schools Month concert video. 

ETM-LA also successfully implemented a school-wide music program for every student in grades K-5 in Compton at Foster Elementary School. “Since we have implemented ETM-LA, teachers are reporting that students are more engaged and think critically. They are more creative and expressive,” says Foster Principal Jacqueline Sanderlin. Foster Elementary also saw an increased proficiency in ELA for 2nd-5th graders at the 3rd quarter benchmark in 2012, as well as a jump in Math scores.

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

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Guitar Students Perform
Guitar Students Perform

As our 4,500 music students get ready for their spring concerts, we want to share the joy you’ve helped to bring through weekly music classes. 

Students from our ten partner schools are blooming and gaining musical skills and concepts.  In March 2012 our students were featured in the National Association for Music Education Concert for Music in Our Schools month, in which millions around the world participate.  In April 2012, we hosted our 2nd Annual Music Unites the World Festival, bringing together 135 ETM-LA students to get top coaching from guest artists and educators.

On May 1st, the ubiquitous Ed Helms (The Office, The Hangover 1 & 2 and The Lorax) shared his bluegrass musical talent and buoyant personality with ETM-LA partner school, Providencia Elementary in Burbank. Helms and his “Lonesome Trio” (Ian Riggs on bass, Jacob Tilove on mandolin) brought bountiful joy and laughter and musical delight to the 400 children during the two assemblies. A member of the Advisory Board of ETM-LA, Helms is a strong advocate for music education and ETM-LA’s mission to nurture students’ development and achievement through music.

Also this spring, Executive Director Victoria Lanier was invited to lead professional development for Los Angeles County academic teachers on integrating musical concepts in the academic curriculum (at Skirball Cultural Center) and was also invited to participate in the "Core Reforms Engaging Arts to Educate" (C.R.E.A.T.E. CA) statewide coalition to help plan the next blueprint of arts education in CA.

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

Ed Helms Brings Bluegrass to ETM-LA Students
Ed Helms Brings Bluegrass to ETM-LA Students

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Music Teachers Gather for Professional Development
Music Teachers Gather for Professional Development

Education Through Music-Los Angeles is thrilled to report on a successful start to 2012! This past January, ETM-LA held our 3-day Teaching Training Institute for music teachers at partner school Castelar Elementary near Downtown LA. Sessions topics included Suzuki methodology, Orff pedagogy, vocal and group guitar strategies, and creative music technology tools. By the end of the 3 days, the music teachers were empowered and inspired to implement new strategies they had learned and experienced. One teacher shared, "I thought today was one of the best ETM-LA training days that I have had over the past several years. It was engaging, useful, and I felt that I left with so many incredible tools for my classrooms."

On January 24th, ETM-LA partner school Providencia Elementary received a special visit from Academy-Award winning composer and ETM-LA Advisory Board member, Michael Giacchino. Mr. Giacchino spent the day with the music students, joining in on a violin class and playfully presenting a film composing seminar for all 150 4th and 5th graders. Giving the students an experience they won't forget, Mr. Giacchino inspired the children to work hard at what they love and hold onto their dreams.  

Another ETM-LA partner school, Norwood Elementary also played host to a guest visitor, the President of the University of Southern California, Dr. C.L. Max Nikias. On January 27th, ETM-LA music students surprised their guest with an excerpt from Strauss' Blue Danube on their violins.

ETM-LA continues to fight alongside our school and community leaders to keep music instruction in schools as part of the core curriculum. In the midst of the looming LA Unified School District cuts that plan to eliminate 100% of existing public elementary school arts instruction next year, ETM-LA is working to ensure that music remains a core part of our schools – and that every child, including those in low-income and underserved communities, receive a well-rounded education that includes quality music instruction.

Thank you for your ongoing support!

Academy-Award Winner Michael Giacchino Inspires
Academy-Award Winner Michael Giacchino Inspires
ETM-LA School Greets the President of USC
ETM-LA School Greets the President of USC

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Providencia Elementary Music Student
Providencia Elementary Music Student

On October 25, 2011 the rain didn't stop our music students from singing and performing their hearts out with Ed Helms (The Office) and Michael Bearden (This is It) at the House of Blues.  25 students from Education Through Music-LA partner schools - Castelar, Foster, Providencia, St. Sebastian, and West Hollywood Elementary - showcased their musical skills and knowledge in a crowd-pleasing rendition of Stand By Me at ETM-LA's 6th Annual Benefit.

As we embark on our sixth year, we have expanded our music education programming to reach 1,500 additional students - totaling 4,500.  Furthermore, ETM-LA expanded services within the LA Unified School District and began partnership with 2 new districts - Burbank and Compton Unified.  We are grateful for your ongoing support to ensure more children receive the benefits of a well-rounded education that includes music and the arts.  Whether rain or shine, all children should be given the opportunity to smile and shine through the joy of learning music. Despite the enormous continuing budget cuts, with your partnership and contribution, Education Through Music-LA will continue to keep music alive in our schools.

We are grateful for you, and wish you all the best for this upcoming holiday season!


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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