Apr 1, 2020

Bringing Music To Students Beyond The Classroom

On behalf of Education Through Music’s staff and partner schools, we hope this update finds you safe and well. We’re more grateful than ever to have such a strong community of supporters, as we help thousands of students across New York City navigate these challenging times. 

The world has profoundly changed over the past three weeks. And, in response, ETM has transformed. We have spent the last three weeks adapting our proven model of in-school music classes and enrichment to meaningful and engaging lessons and activities accessible via distance learning.

The result is a robust, creative, flexible, and need-responsive collection of lessons and activities for our students, from the fourth-grade flute player to the seventh-grade music technology student. Our teachers are using Google Classroom, Zoom, and more to reach students face to face, giving them a sense of normalcy. We are creating video lessons, tutorials, projects and more – providing a wealth of digital resources tailored to the needs of our schools and students. 

ETM’s program staff is collaborating with our affiliates in Denver and Los Angeles, working together to build out a new way of teacher music beyond the classroom walls. ETM’s team of music teachers is committed to continuing to design new and engaging lessons, learn new technologies, find new ways to connect with their students, and connecting with their colleagues across the city.

Our mission to provide students with high-quality music education in the weekend ahead is urgent and essential. You have likely seen countless examples of people turning to music to raise their spirits, connect with their communities, and serve as a much-needed form of expression. In turn, ETM’s distance learning model is driving students’ cognitive and social-emotional growth, while allowing them to make noise, move around, and connect to the world. 

One ETM partner school principal recently shared, “Education Through Music has helped us to keep our school community motivated, since we all pride ourselves on our music classes, choir and band program!...The support of ETM is of crucial importance to me as a New York City principal during the difficult time.

Thank you for being a part of the ETM family. Your support is making sure that students continue to have music as a core part of the education and their daily lives during this crisis. You are improving access and equity for so many. We look forward to continuing to share our work with you, and celebrate the achievements of the students we serve. Don’t forget to share this report with a family member or friend to let them know the incredible difference supporting ETM can make!

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Mar 5, 2020

Springing Forward with Music Technology!

With spring almost here, students at Education Through Music partner schools across New York City are growing and learning each day. With your support, ETM is proud to be providing access to quality music education for 36,000 students from marginalized communities. We’re excited to share another glimpse of the incredible impact your donation is making!

Over the past few months, ETM has worked to implement music technology classes in two partner middle schools located in the East Bronx. Music technology or ‘music tech’ is a key part of our strategy for working with middle grade students because we believe in its potential for captivating those who feel disillusioned or frustrated. ETM is using music tech to provide learning experiences that are new, relevant, and highly interactive.

Through this initiative, ETM is making music tech accessible to the 900+ students who attend the pilot schools! ETM selected equipment and software for these classes that is cost-efficient, portable, and easy to pick up and use from day one.

We’re thrilled with the progress we are seeing on the ground as ETM’s music teachers lead students in technology-based lessons, giving them a chance to create and record their own beats, songs, and more. As students write and record their own compositions, they are using problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, and other vital skills for success in music and beyond.

Technology allows for a unique fusion of music curriculum with current genres and styles. As one ETM music teacher said, “[Music tech] is an excellent opportunity to use the music that students listen to daily to teach them about music as a whole.”

We are also seeing how well music tech is engaging students with learning differences. “Some [students] have a hard time focusing, some can't sit still, some can't read well. The tech program helps them to focus…and gives them a chance to be creative and do something in their own way,” said an ETM music teacher.

By supporting Education Through Music, you are making unique, meaningful learning experiences like these music tech classes possible for thousands of students—students who would otherwise have little or no access to music education. Thank you for driving equity and access for so many young learners. Don’t forget to share this report with a family member or friend to let them know the incredible difference supporting ETM can make! 

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Jan 3, 2020

Starting 2020 on a High Note

Happy New Year from Education Through Music! Across the city, students and teachers are returning from winter break, getting ready for more learning and growing. As you know, ETM is reaching more children than ever in New York City – bringing ongoing, life-changing music education to 36,000 students in under-resourced schools. Your support is helping ETM bring year-long music instruction to more than 8,000 students for the very first time through our newest partnerships. Thanks to you, ETM is increasing equity and access throughout the five boroughs.

How do we make sure the students in our partner schools have access to the highest quality music education? We make sure they have the most well-prepared music educators. ETM hires and places music teachers in our new partner schools, and then provides the intensive, customized training and support these teachers need to be effective. ETM music teachers work with students with a variety of needs, backgrounds, and abilities—and we give them training and guidance that reflect their unique challenges and opportunities. In fact, music teachers at ETM partner schools have access to more than 7x the amount of professional development workshops as their colleagues at non-partner schools, in addition to comprehensive mentoring.

Over the past few months, partner school music teachers have attended trainings on specialized topics like selecting great repertoire, crisis management and trauma sensitive teaching, the intersection of music education and social justice, engaging communities through music performance, and band & orchestra methodology. Teachers have also been studying curriculum and pedagogy and learning how to leverage instruments and supplies at each grade level.

Music teachers have shared how ETM’s training has been meaningful to their work. One said, “I enjoyed the level of energy and enthusiasm as well as knowledge that each presenter shared.” Another said, “The professional development sessions were the best I have ever taken.”

The real payoff from ETM’s investment in our music teachers is seen in the lives of the children who participate in our programs. Teachers make a difference in both the short and long-term. Rachel, an alumna of ETM partner elementary and middle schools who is continuing to study music in high school, said, “[My ETM music teachers] made me realize both my ability and passion for something I had never had the opportunity to study before.

By supporting Education Through Music, you are helping equip music teachers to make a mark every day in the classroom, as they impact the lives of thousands of students in need across New York City. Thank you for providing students with the access and education to realize their full potential. Share this report with a family member or friend to let them know the incredible difference supporting ETM’s quality music education can make!

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