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.
Oct 22, 2015

Building A Brighter Tomorrow Through Music

Students eagerly participate in music class!
Students eagerly participate in music class!

It’s an exciting time at ETM! Our new and returning partner school students are busy settling into a new school year, embarking on a journey of self-discovery and insight; navigating through their new classes and friendships; and learning important skills and knowledge along the way. ETM’s weekly in-school music classes are off to a great start, filling students’ school routines with joy and wonder as they begin to tap into newly discovered talents and abilities. Your commitment to music education has made this new beginning possible for our students! Engaging with music as part of well-rounded education can have a profound impact on the lives of young children. Not only do they increase their achievement in the classroom, but music class also serves as a healthy outlet encouraging self-expression and strengthening their social and emotional capacities. This is especially true for Kendrick, a third-grade partner school student in the Bronx. Music class is helping him cope with painful losses in his home life and driving him toward success in school.

Kendrick is in foster care and was recently separated from his brother when the two were placed with different families. The absence has been very hard for Kendrick, who frequently talks about how much he misses his brother, and the burden has caused his academic performance to suffer. In most classes, Kendrick is very distracted and needs to be constantly redirected to his school work—except for music class. In music, Kendrick is fully engaged with lessons and shows an eagerness to learn. His music teacher, Mr. Washington, shares that Kendrick is, “most responsive in music class,” where “he is just as focused as his peers.”  During one recent lesson, Mr. Washington was introducing body percussion and steady beats to students. Kendrick was so enthusiastic about the lesson that he helped Mr. Washington create a game based on improvised movements. After the game was created, Mr. Washington asked the class, “What should we call this?” and Kendrick—bursting with inspiration and excitement—said, “Mr. Washington, we should call it Get with the Beat!” Mr. Washington thanked Kendrick for his contribution and used Get with the Beat for the entire week. Mr. Washington notes that the two things Kendrick talks most about are his brother and music class. Music is encouraging Kendrick to apply himself in school, giving him the inner strength and motivation he needs to move forward in spite of his personal hardships. Mr. Washington said, “I am happy that I could bring something as positive as music into his life. It is moments like these that remind me why I became a teacher.”

Kendrick is just one of the over 25,000 students ETM’s partner school program is reaching this year. Because of supporters like you, we were able to expand our reach tremendously this year to serve even more children! Thank you for helping to provide deserving children with the opportunity to learn the self-confidence and critical skills they need to succeed in life. Your investment is building brighter tomorrows for inner-city students across New York City—like Kendrick, 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!

Two flutists play with passion!
Two flutists play with passion!
Students smile infectiously during music class!
Students smile infectiously during music class!
A tuba player concentrates on her music making!
A tuba player concentrates on her music making!

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Aug 24, 2015

Because of Music, A Brighter Future Is Within Reach

For many students at our first-year partner schools, this past school year was full of firsts. It was the first time that music class was a constant presence in their school life. It was the first time they performed on a stage for family and friends. It was the first time that through music education they achieved a positive attitude toward school, higher self-esteem and self-confidence, and a greater sense of creativity. Because of your support, students who had never before had a music program at their school received quality music instruction every week for an entire school year, enriching their learning experience and enlivening their school routine. Your generosity for our partner school students has turned school into a place where dramatic transformations are not only possible, but are seen among their peers, where success is attainable for any child who reaches for it, and where music class is means to a brighter future.

At first-year partner school, P.S. 369 in the Bronx, ETM music teacher—Ms. Summa— noticed that one third-grade student in particular exhibited a significant shift in attitude and behavior since music class began. Nicole had a reputation for being a troubled student who was uninterested in learning and sought attention in class by acting out. But her misbehavior was masking her frustration with school and a lack of confidence in herself. As the year progressed, Ms. Summa observed Nicole steadily develop into a model student through music class. First, Nicole learned how to read music much more easily and quickly than her classmates, helping her improve her academic performance in other classes as well. At home, Nicole practiced on her recorder every day after school, which translated to a deeper grasp of lessons in music class. She was able to play any rhythm that was given to her, which gave her a reason to believe in herself. Nicole had a natural gift for music that no one had discovered before. Tapping into her natural musical abilities led her to excel in unprecedented ways. She no longer felt the need to act out, because she was receiving attention in music class. Ms. Summa rewarded Nicole with a solo on a metallophone in the spring concert. Her increased self-confidence and self-esteem was on full display as she struck her metallophone proudly. Playing instruments and being entrusted with additional responsibility gave Nicole a reason to leave behind her misbehavior and head in a new direction. With music education in her life, Nicole is on track to a successful and productive future. Ms. Summa can’t wait to have her in her class next year and build upon her musical skills and knowledge.

Nicole is just one of the thousands of students that benefited from your gracious support this year. First-year partnerships are at the heart of our partner school program; they illustrate the immediate beneficial effects music can have on students and over time, demonstrate how comprehensive, skills-based music instruction can make a measurable impact on students’ academic and personal growth. Thank you for helping us bring music education into the lives of thousands of deserving children this year. Show your support for ETM by sharing this report with a family member or a friend; let them how far their generosity can go, too!             

Students prepare for their concert!
Students prepare for their concert!
Students rejoice as they sing confidently!
Students rejoice as they sing confidently!

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Jul 31, 2015

Celebrating Summer with Festival Fun

A student plays her flute enthusiastically!
A student plays her flute enthusiastically!

Happy Summer from ETM! Thanks to you, our partner school students have finished another productive, fun-filled school year where music was a part of their routine. This was most especially true for our ensemble students, who applied their extra motivation for and interest in music to playing in band or orchestra. Over the course of the year, these students developed stronger musical skills, cultivated deeper knowledge about their chosen instrument, and gained exposure to a larger repertoire of music. Last month, our ensemble students celebrated their musical achievement at the culminating, year-end ETM Festival. Over 900 students from 18 partner schools performed at Lehman College’s concert hall in the Bronx!

The ETM Festival is an annual event that brings all our ensemble students together to honor their growth as instrumentalists. Students perform a variety of music—from pop hits to classical pieces—alongside other ETM ensembles and in front of a live audience filled with friends, family, and the broader community. This year, a special guest was there to cheer on students! New York City Council Member, Andy King—a supporter of ETM and champion for arts education—took the stage to congratulate our students and express pride over their academic and artistic accomplishments. Third and fourth graders, who will be eligible to join an ensemble next year, were invited to watch their older schoolmates. The festival provides an important model of what it takes to play in a band or orchestra; it’s a concrete experience of what they can attain if they, too, put in the hard work and dedication it takes to excel at an instrument.

The concert hall at Lehman College gave our students a professional-level performance opportunity with the proper stage and acoustics to hold their vast talents and enthusiasm. Performing with their peers encouraged cooperation, team-work, and respect for one another. Seeing other ETM students from different schools perform gave them a sense of the magnitude of what they’ve accomplishing in music class this year and helped them realize just how far music education can take them. At the end of the festival, every ensemble student received a medal, rewarding their diligent efforts over the year and music teachers received a trophy to display in their classrooms. The hope is that these medals and trophies will remind students of their wonderful success and progress.

After the festival, our students shared with us their deep appreciation for being in an ensemble.

Joining band is really cool! I love playing the trumpet and I've learned how to play it and I've learned all kinds of music pieces. I have no bad comments. ETM is the best!
—P.S. 154 student, Queens

Since being in band, my personality has changed tremendously, as I have been influenced by my peers.
—P.S. 76 student, Bronx

My band was just fun. I love music! I learned about all the wonderful stuff music can have for students like us. I like how my teacher, Ms. Parr, gives everybody leads on music.
— P.S. 76 student, Bronx

I have had a good time being a percussionist!
—M.S. 180 student, Bronx

Because of you, our students were able to shine at the ETM Festival and flourish throughout the year. You’ve enriched their lives with music, enhanced their learning experience, and brought them closer to a brighter future. The ETM Festival is just one example of what your donation has helped build this year—an entire community of students are on track to reaching their potential because of your support. Be a part of helping our students continue on a path of success and help us share the gift of music education with more students. Share this report with friends and family; let them know they can make a difference, too!

An orchestra prepares to play their song.
An orchestra prepares to play their song.
A student concentrates on music-making.
A student concentrates on music-making.
Percussionists keep the beat!
Percussionists keep the beat!

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