Feb 20, 2013

ETM Students Perform in Winter Concerts

Students engage in gleeful singing
Students engage in gleeful singing

For the past few months, ETM’s partner school students were busy preparing and performing in holiday and winter concerts. The students worked extremely hard to learn their repertoire, and also had fun, as one 8th-grade student noted in his concert reflection:  “One of the things I learned from this experience is that while working hard you can still have fun and enjoy yourself. I felt a sense of accomplishment and happiness because we were doing a great job, which was acknowledged and rewarded by the audience response; they gave loud applauses and cheers. Our conductor commended us for a job-well done.” 

Each January, ETM’s first-year band and orchestra students also make their debut performances. These petit performances offer parents, local officials and school communities an opportunity to hear students perform, while learning about the ensemble programs over juice and bagels; the event is called “Breakfast with the Band” or “Breakfast with the Orchestra.” This school year, ETM offers band at six partner schools and orchestra at six partner schools.

The Breakfast with the Orchestra at M.S. 529 in the Bronx was a celebratory event that drew many parents as well as a liaison from newly-elected Councilman Andy King’s office. The orchestra played a series of short pieces, finishing with a selection that demonstrated their understanding of blues progression. Parents snapped photos and recorded videos throughout the show, clapping and cheering for their kids.

In addition to the choral and instrumental concerts held on school grounds, students from partner school MS 180’s Special Education classes visited the Bartow Senior Center in the Bronx to share their holiday cheer. The students, who use xylophones and small percussion instruments in class as a learning technique, were eager to perform the songs and recite the poems they rehearsed with their music teacher, Leah Potteiger. According to MS 180 Principal Frank Uzzo "The students loved sharing their new found talent with the seniors. It made the holiday season special for them.”

We are so proud of all our partner school students for immersing themselves in the learning process to prepare for their concerts; their hard work truly shined through in the performances!

Please consider sharing our program with a friend or colleague to ensure that NYC students can continue to have these rewarding experiences through music, which help to build self-confidence and creativity in students.  

Students wear wintery accessories during concert
Students wear wintery accessories during concert
This student is all smiles after her performance
This student is all smiles after her performance
A student focuses before performing her next piece
A student focuses before performing her next piece
Students add choreography and holiday colors
Students add choreography and holiday colors
Co-op City Times Features ETM Students
Co-op City Times Features ETM Students

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Nov 30, 2012

New Brooklyn Programs Off to an Exciting Start!

This fall P.S. 84 and M.S. 313 in Brooklyn launched their respective ETM music programs, introducing high-quality music instruction to over 600 students. ETM Music Teacher Charlie Ortiz reported that the music program at M.S. 313 has “seen 100% student involvement, parental support and many smiling faces.” M.S. 313 recently received brand new acoustic and electric guitars, which will be used by every student in the school in the music classroom. In particular, Mr. Ortiz will use the guitars to teach to the ETM Benchmarks and enable students to make and experience music first-hand. Students have already engaged in singing, playing percussion instruments, and writing their own music in class. Interest in one-on-one and continued instruction has even developed among students, who love to keep the music playing during after-school hours. Mr. Ortiz reports that “The students have responded well [to the music program] and many can be seen in the music room after school playing drums and guitars.”

While M.S. 313 has succeeded in starting to build support for its music program within the immediate school community, P.S. 84 has been active in cultivating a music environment inclusive of its parents. P.S. 84’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) invited ETM to their meeting on November 20th. At the PTA meeting, ETM Music Teacher David Blumenthal and Field Supervisor Allison Mickelson led a group of parents in music-making exercises that got everyone up playing boomwhackers, singing, moving….and thinking about the importance of music education! The meeting was as productive as it was fun: Parents had an opportunity to learn more about ETM and its role in providing music education for their children. Parents also came together later in the session to help organize the keyboard lab, which is adjacent to the newly painted music room.

Still, with all the early success these two new ETM partner schools have experienced, it is imperative that ETM continue to work to provide students and teachers with musical instruments and instructional materials to reinforce classroom lessons. Mr. Blumenthal stated “Orff instruments including xylophones, metallophones and bass bars would be incredible additions.”   

Our project success at P.S. 84 and M.S. 313 has been possible in thanks to your support. Yet, our work at these newest partner schools is just beginning and requires continued support. Please consider forwarding our project to a friend or colleague who you think might be interested in donating. Thank you.

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Nov 21, 2012

ETM Keeps the Music Playing at 28 NYC Schools

By the start of the 2012-13 school year, ETM added six new schools to our partner school program including St. Thomas the Apostle, the first ETM partnership in Queens. The ETM model now serves over 14,000 students in 28 elementary, middle and K-8 schools throughout New York City. ETM also introduced new co-curricular ensembles at two returning partner schools in the Bronx. The upcoming holiday concert season will be busier as M.S. 529 launched a string orchestra comprised of students from its 6th and 7th grades, while P.S. 169 added a 4th grade string orchestra.

This Fall, ETM partner schools have also had visits from music education supporters and practitioners including mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin, Miss USA and cellist Olivia Culpo and country music star Dierks Bentley. These visits have helped motivate and engage students, while providing them with exposure to classical and country music genres. In particular in September, Mr. Bentley visited first-year partner school P.S. 103 in the Bronx. The CMA Foundation coordinated the visit with ETM and P.S. 103, through assistance from the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). The CMA Foundation not only sent Mr. Bentley as an ambassador of their program Keep the Music Playing, it also donated $20,000 to ETM to help purchase instruments and supplies for P.S. 103's music classrooms. Mr. Bentley performed for the entire 4th grade class, who sang along to his hit song “5150,” in the school gymnasium. He also visited 5th grade and 2nd grade music classes, who were eager to showcase their newly acquired music skills.

In thanks to the generosity of our supporters, ETM is able to focus on both strengthening and expanding our partner school program, while also providing important opportunities to reinforce and broaden students’ musical skills, knowledge and appreciation.   

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