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.
Aug 16, 2016

Connecting Through Music

Choir students sing with joy!
Choir students sing with joy!

Happy Summer from ETM!

We hope you’re enjoying these wonderful last days of summer! Although the school year may be over, the impact of your support on our partner school students is still going strong. During the 2015-16 school year, your generosity transformed the lives of nearly 27,000 children through quality music instruction that improved academic performance and cultivated emotional intelligence. And today, that dramatic growth is continuing to benefit our students beyond the classroom.      

This is especially true for our first-year partner school students—many of whom had never before had music as a consistent part of their school routine. Students like Jayden, a fourth grader at P.S. 75 in Brooklyn—a first-year partner school this past year. Because of music, Jayden is gaining a better sense of himself and the world.

Jayden suffers from a psychological condition that hinders his ability to socialize with others, which complicates his school life and alienates him from his peers. A learning disability made classwork also a challenge for Jayden. Often, he seemed adrift in school. He was frequently absent and only engaged with his classmates through outbursts and disruptions.

This year, his school’s new music program helped Jayden turn over a new leaf. He joined the chorus and became a thriving member of the group. His attendance improved. In music class, Jayden gradually started to listen to his peers and acknowledge when they spoke to him. He grew confident in social interactions and began to trust the people around him. As the year went on, his involvement in the music program deepened and his behavior in music class continued to improve. Jayden became an example his classmates could follow.

One day, his music teacher asked for volunteers to demonstrate a body percussion lesson in front of the class. Jayden volunteered and bravely and beautifully illustrated the lesson for his teacher and classmates. Afterward, he raised his hand and said, "I don't like to perform in front of everyone because it makes me shy and nervous, but I love music, so I wanted to try. When I was doing it, I got nervous but I looked up and saw everyone looking at me and no one was laughing or being mean and I felt really happy. I can't wait until we can all do this together in the concert." This was such a pivotal moment for Jayden—one that illustrated all the growth he had been making over the year. The emotional intelligence and stronger sense of self Jayden developed are the same skills that will steer him toward a brighter and more successful future. Music is grounding Jayden, giving him a motivation to come to school and connect with people and world around him.

Thank you for helping to provide deserving children with the opportunity to reach their potential. Your investment is building brighter tomorrows for inner-city students across New York City just like Jayden, whose passion for music is steering him toward a positive direction in his life. Share this report with your friends and family and show them the life-changing impact they can have on children by supporting their music education!

Drummers keep a steady beat!
Drummers keep a steady beat!
Orchestra students play with dedication!
Orchestra students play with dedication!
Trumpet players concentrate on their music-making!
Trumpet players concentrate on their music-making!

Links:

Jul 19, 2016

Music Gave Us Hope

Edna and Mitchelle shared their story at our Gala.
Edna and Mitchelle shared their story at our Gala.

Happy Summer from ETM! Last month, another exciting, fun-filled school year came to a close. Because of your generosity, nearly 27,000 children in New York City spent the year immersed in weekly in-school music classes. Learning musical skills and knowledge throughout the year helped improve their concentration, focus, and critical thinking abilities. And it didn’t end there—they also developed a stronger sense of self and increased self-esteem. For many of our students, music was a benefit beyond the classroom; it made a positive impact that rippled throughout the rest of their lives. For two partner school students—sisters Edna and Mitchelle, this is especially true. At a time when their family was experiencing hardship, Edna and Mitchelle joined the orchestra at their school and began to overcome the challenges they were facing.

Mitchelle shared, “When my sister and I first joined orchestra in elementary school, we had to carry our instruments on trains and buses from our temporary residence in Manhattan as early as 4 a.m. in order to be in the Bronx for our 6 a.m. orchestra rehearsal. Most nights we only slept for three hours. But being in orchestra gave us hope in the present and hope for the future. I couldn’t wait to start practicing because music took me to another dimension. All of my troubles and worries seemed to melt away. It seems like just yesterday when [my music teacher] taught me how to play “Amazing Grace” on my violin. I went home very excited and immediately played it for my mom. When I finished, I noticed tears in her eyes. I said, ‘I know I’m bad, but you don’t have to cry about it!’ To which she replied, ‘These are tears of joy.’”

Edna explained, “Music has given our family a new take on life. We felt very privileged to be a part of the orchestra.  It was a blessing to our family at a time when our family fell apart. Learning new songs with my sister and playing for the pleasure of our mother bonded us. Our mother was thrilled that we became so passionate about music. She became so engrossed in our practicing that despite her desperate need for sleep before her night shift, she would stay awake watching us.” Mitchelle said simply, “Education Through Music has provided a meaningful education to us and our family.”

Stories like these reinforce our presence in schools and how profoundly music can touch a child’s life. When Edna and Mitchelle and their family needed hope, music gave it to them. And they are not alone. Thousands of economically disadvantaged students now have a more promising future on their horizon because supporters like you are committed to bringing them quality music instruction. We thank you for believing in our students and in the power of music education. Show your support for ETM by sharing this report with a family member or a friend. Let them know how far their generosity can go, too!

A flutist concentrates on her music-making!
A flutist concentrates on her music-making!
Band students play with passion!
Band students play with passion!
Percussionists keep the beat!
Percussionists keep the beat!

Links:

May 19, 2016

Bringing a Community Together Through Music

Students sing joyfully as their teacher conducts!
Students sing joyfully as their teacher conducts!

Happy spring from ETM!

The school year may be wrapping up, but our partner school students are still hard at work building a wealth of skills and discovering new talents during their weekly in-school music classes. This has been an exciting year where students have improved their cognitive reasoning and boosted their self-esteem through the greatest gift of all: music. Your generosity is impacting over 27,000 students across New York City. Because of you, our students are becoming well-rounded children with brighter futures ahead.

For our first-year partner school students, this has been an especially incredible and thrilling year because it was the first time that comprehensive music instruction played a constant role in their learning experience. And because of this opportunity, they have started to think differently about themselves, their futures, and their education. The music program also provides an exciting new avenue to unify the communities of first-year partner schools. For many parents, events such as student concerts foster a new, positive association with their child’s school and offer them a way to engage with other members of the school community.

For P.S. 277 in the Bronx, the thriving music program is making a huge difference in the community. The school is located in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx and serves approximately 440 students in grades Pre-K-5. Of these 440 students, 99% are students are of color, 16% are English Language Learners, 94% qualify for the Federal Free/Reduced Price Lunch Program, and 10% have special needs.

ETM music teacher Adrianna Lee has witnessed first-hand the impact the music program has had on the school. She believes that the program has genuinely become embedded in the school’s culture.

“I have heard such wonderful feedback from many of the teachers at the school. Before the winter break, I took the select chorus caroling around the school. The 1st-grade teacher told me that it was such a lovely gift to both the kids and teachers and that no one had ever done anything like that with such energy and enthusiasm. Recently, I spoke to the receptionist who said that she was so impressed by the quality of the kid's singing. She said that there were so many kids who were participating with such enthusiasm and that she had no idea how many kids were so talented at the school. Finally, she thanked me for bringing it out of the students in a way that she'd never seen.”

The students’ hard work culminated in a spectacular spring concert in April. The auditorium was packed with parents, guardians, and members of the community. Each song was greeted with thunderous applause as the students beamed with effusive pride. Ms. Lee had the students sing advanced repertoire that included songs in different languages, such as Spanish, Hebrew, Zulu, and Swahili.

This marvelous event was emblematic of how far the music program has gone today and how much music education can accomplish in just one year. Next year, P.S. 277 hopes to start an orchestra program, which will give students another opportunity to further develop their music skills.

Your support has been instrumental in the success of P.S. 277’s music program and the success of all of our first-year partner schools. You have helped to expand the horizons of students, foster a deeper appreciation for music within the school, and bring together the community. 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!

Students are deeply engaged in music instruction!
Students are deeply engaged in music instruction!
Student perform with pride at a spring concert!
Student perform with pride at a spring concert!

Links:

 
   

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