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.
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!

Links:

May 28, 2015

Discoveries Made Through Music

Students practice choreography in music class!
Students practice choreography in music class!

With summer on the horizon, Education Through Music’s partner school students are working diligently to end the school year strong. It’s been a productive and exciting year filled with transformations, growth, and fun —especially for our first-year partner students!  Thanks to your generous support, these students have enjoyed a year of quality weekly music instruction; learned how to take pride in themselves through concert performances for their family and friends; and developed a deep understanding of and appreciation for music. We want to share with you excerpts from essays by 5th graders at first-year partner school P.S. 87 in the Bronx. Each student was asked to describe why music is important to them.

Dana expressed how playing the viola has had an emotional impact on her.

Music is important to me because it helps me stay calm. It also helps me be very focused. Music gives me something to look forward to everyday and lets me express my creativity. Being a musician is fun. I eat, breathe, and sleep music now.”

Xavier focused on the benefits from playing music.

Music can make people feel happy. From playing music a person can learn how to multi-task. For instance when you’re playing you need to place your finger in the right place on the right string. I play the cello. The cello is a very awesome instrument to play. Music is important to me because at home when I do not feel good, playing my cello makes me feel better.

Kayla shared the insight she’s gained in music class.

Music can relax you and make you feel blissful when you feel sad. Counting helps musicians be on time when playing an instrument. This allows the music piece to sound like it is flowing, otherwise it will be rushed and will feel like a blur. You can use anything from your environment to make music such as pots, pans, possibly bottles filled with rice. In music you can be yourself and have fun.”

Because of your support, students have made wonderful discoveries about themselves and the world around them. You have helped us utilize music education to steer thousands of deserving students in New York City toward a brighter, more successful future. These students’ essays where overflowing with gratitude for having music in their lives. Thank you for making music education a reality for them. Consider passing this report along to a friend or colleague who can help us continue to make a difference in the lives of children in need.

A student plays her trumpet proudly.
A student plays her trumpet proudly.

Links:

May 5, 2015

Making A Fresh Start Through Music

Happy Spring from ETM! Our partner school students have been hard at work mastering new music skills and becoming better learners. Your support has helped our partner school program provide quality, weekly music instruction to 20,000 students and has served as an investment in a brighter future for them. What better way to celebrate spring than to share with you the story of one student’s fresh start!

Music class helped Jackson, a 5th grader at P.S. 169 in the Bronx, to deal with loss and turn over a new leaf. Jackson had established a reputation as a happy, well-behaved student with a passion for music. His ETM music teacher, Ms. Gonzalez, described him as a “wonderful singer and cellist, a talented rapper, and all around musician.” But over winter break, Jackson experienced a personal loss in his home life when his father had to move back to his native country. Jackson was very upset over his father’s departure, and started acting out at school. However, there was one place where he was not acting out: music class. Ms. Gonzalez noticed that, “Music class is the one place where Jackson acts like the happy Jackson I’ve known since last year.” Unfortunately, because of his poor behavior in other areas of school, Jackson was removed from the orchestra for two weeks. His music teacher and assistant principal then developed a plan to allow Jackson back into orchestra on the condition that he improve his behavior in his other classes “[Because] Jackson loves orchestra and music, he is trying his hardest to be the model student he was before,” reveals Ms. Gonzalez. Music is keeping Jackson engaged with school and giving him the determination he needs to turn his behavior and attitude around. 

His remarkable improvement was illustrated recently after Ms. Gonzalez finished a unit on hip-hop. Jackson and four of his classmates decided to start a hip-hop club that would meet during lunch. Forty-six 5th-graders have signed up for the club -- over half of the entire 5th grade at P.S. 169! The students are writing their own raps, composing beats, and choreographing dances together twice a week. Jackson is exercising leadership skills and participating in a positive activity. Ms. Gonzalez shared, “Without music, Jackson would be lost. Music is keeping him safe, secure, and giving him a healthy outlet for his emotions. I am happy to have Jackson in my class, and will be sad to see him move onto middle school next year.” The student who was once considered difficult and troubled has now become a leader and inspiration to his peers because of music education.

Education Through Music’s partner school program supports students’ social and emotional development. Many other students are benefiting from their music instruction just like Jackson through an increase in their self-esteem, self-confidence, and motivation for school. Jackson’s story is just one example of what children can accomplish when music is a part of their school routine. Thank you for changing the lives of our students! 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 on deserving students like Jackson!

Students enjoy a guitar lesson!
Students enjoy a guitar lesson!

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