Education Through Music-Los Angeles is thrilled to report on a successful fall semester and wonderful start to 2010! Our students performed beautifully at their holiday concerts with great feedback from parents and the community. One parent shared how the music program has tremendously “helped her child with personal skills”, while another stated that “music is helping to bind the community without color lines.” ETM-LA is also thrilled to begin a partnership this month with the Pio Pico Elementary School, providing general music and recorder. This year, ETM-LA is serving approximately 2,000 schoolchildren.
This January 2010, ETM-LA launched a new collaboration with USC Thornton Outreach and the Music Center on professional development for teaching artists. 35 teaching artists convened in Downtown LA at ETM-LA partner school Castelar Elementary. With signs on the walls that read: "Be prepared to be surprised", "Whoever attends are the right people," and "the Law of Two Feet” - the teaching artists were welcomed to a fresh approach to professional development - facilitated discussions based on the Open Space Technology (created by Harrison Owen who observed that usually the most interesting conversations at meetings or conferences happened during the coffee breaks.) The teaching artists generated their own specific discussion topics, questions, challenges, and solutions. One participant stated, "[I] wanted to apply the Law of Two Feet, [but] the topics I attended were so engaging I didn't get a chance to apply it!" By the end of the sessions, teaching artists were empowered and inspired to implement new strategies they had learned and shared in their discussions.
ETM-LA continues to fight alongside its 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 50% of existing public elementary school instruction next year, and the following by 2012, ETM-LA is working harder than ever 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!
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