Jan 17, 2019

Using Music to Unlock Children's Potential

Happy New Year from ETM! Now that winter break is behind us, our partner school students are embarking on a new semester of learning. ETM’s program is reaching a record number of children across all five boroughs of New York City, serving diverse populations at schools that would otherwise not have the resources to provide music. Your support is helping the 10,000 children in our newest partner schools who are receiving music instruction and enrichment for the first time. Every day, our highly trained music teachers are providing life-changing experiences to these students.  

One student who has blossomed thanks to music education this year is Jonah, a fourth grade student at an ETM partner school in the Bronx who is participating in choir. Growing up, Jonah has struggled in and out of school due to having a stutter. His speech difficulties have made it harder for him to develop confidence and self-esteem. However, when Jonah sings, his struggles seem to melt away. Jonah's music teacher noticed that when Jonah is singing in choir, he is able to forget about his speech impediment and focus only on the music.

Through choir, Jonah is discovering and exploring a passion for music. He recently told his music teacher how learning about different genres of music in choir has inspired him to listen to more music outside of class. With his confidence growing, Jonah is eagerly taking initiative in learning and practicing music as often as possible - frequently coming to choir rehearsals with songs and movements memorized.

This winter, Jonah was able to showcase all the progress he's made when his choir had the chance to perform at Freedom Tower through an opportunity provided by ETM. It was an afternoon that helped expand Jonah's horizons and provided a new source of motivation. In his own words, Jonah said, "My favorite thing about chorus is the fact that I get to sing so much music and be on stage. I never thought that I would be able to sing at the World Trade Center in front of so many people."

Moving forward, Jonah has expressed his interest in continuing to learn and perform music to his teacher. As Jonah grows, the skills and experiences he's gaining through music will support his achievement in school and beyond.

By supporting Education Through Music, you are helping students like Jonah gain the motivation to learn and the confidence to succeed. Thank you for providing students with the tools 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!

Dec 20, 2018

Inspiring the Next Generation

Brandon performs with an ETM partner school choir
Brandon performs with an ETM partner school choir

You are helping Education Through Music reach the children who need it most – like Brandon, an ETM partner school alumnus whose experience transformed him from a disengaged middle school student into a focused and driven adult. But don’t let me tell you. Here is Brandon in his own words:

My life story has been completely changed because of Education Through Music. School was a struggle for me. I always had trouble applying myself and focusing…, but the [middle school orchestra] was the first place where I felt I belonged. My orchestra teacher opened my eyes to a new world and gave me a passion and a purpose. Music gave me something I could look forward to when coming to school. For the first time in my life I felt unique and special.

“ETM has truly changed my life forever… by providing me with inspiration from [ETM Board member] Joshua Bell, by providing me a teacher who could take that inspiration and mold it into discipline and skill, and by providing me with an outlet to express my passion and ability.

“But I am not the only one whose life was changed. In my school alone, our graduates include students who have gone on to study music…, students who are pursing IT, literature, law, or medicine... Those who are no longer formally studying music have an appreciation and love for music that will never disappear. The lessons we learned in the music classroom stick with us forever, even when we choose to focus on other pursuits.

“I would not have made it to where I am today without [ETM] and… the instruction, inspiration, and passion that started me on my journey.”


Brandon and his former classmates are reaping the benefits of a well-rounded education infused with music because they attended an ETM partner school. They had the opportunity to build important skills such as focus and discipline, setting them on brighter paths for the future, because you and your fellow donors helped ETM establish music programs in their schools. And Brandon continues pursuing his love for music, including performing with elementary school students at ETM's gala this spring, and helping to inspire the next generation.

In New York City, schools in low-income areas are twice as likely as schools in high-income areas to have zero classrooms dedicated to music education. By supporting ETM, you are making it possible for more children to gain access to quality music education so that they, too, can have the opportunity Brandon had, and find their own passions to be inspired and motivated to learn.

Thanks in part to your past generosity, this year, ETM is enriching the lives of 34,000 children at more than 60 partner schools across all five boroughs in New York City.

Thank you for working with ETM to expand opportunity and bringing music education into the lives of New York City’s young learners and future leaders. Please consider sharing this report with a family member or a friend and invite them to join you on this mission.

Brandon (L) & his music teacher (R) w/ Joshua Bell
Brandon (L) & his music teacher (R) w/ Joshua Bell
Brandon performing
Brandon performing


Oct 22, 2018

Accessing New Opportunities

This fall, thousands of students have access to in-school music instruction for the very first time, because ETM launch new partnerships with 16 schools in New York City. Your support is helping to equip these under-resourced schools with essential supplies and instruments, so that music teachers and students can truly bring music to life.

For the students in these new partner schools, this year represents the beginning of what can become a lifelong journey of music and learning. Music education will broaden their opportunities and give them access to opportunities like the path taken by ETM alumna Crystal:

“I don’t think I would have discovered my true passion without Education Through Music,” says Crystal, who attended ETM partner school P.S. 76 in the Bronx, and then attended ETM partner school M.S. 180. Crystal is currently attending SUNY Purchase, pursuing a degree in Arts Management.

Crystal was introduced to music at P.S. 76, where she joined the band and began to play the clarinet. She credits her involvement in the music program with her good grades, because she had to do well in school to participate in extra band activities. “It was amazing. My childhood was focused on the music program. It was a wonderful experience finding something that I was talented in,” says Crystal.

Music supports developing well-rounded students. “I think it’s very important to know about music,” says Crystal, “even if you aren’t going into a music profession. Music connects everybody.”

Two music teachers were very supportive of Crystal. She credits P.S. 76 music teacher Jessica Parr with making a big impact in her life. “There were times when I was doubtful of myself, and she would reassure me, give me advice and she was very supportive.” M.S. 180 music teacher Kevin Heathwood continued to support her through middle school. “He really pushed me to become a better student in music and academic classes.”

Crystal uses her musical skills in a unique way to help her succeed in college. “For myself, if I’m studying for something, I’ll sing it to help me remember stuff. It’s very easy for me to help remember music. Learning that way has helped me achieve higher test grades.”

The future is looking bright for Crystal, and she would like to run her own theater one day. “I want to be part of the arts community, I love talking about theater. You’re not really doing a job, because you’re doing something you love.”


Thank you for supporting ETM and providing children with new opportunities, so, like Crystal, they can discover and follow their passions. Please share this report with a family member or a friend and invite them to join you on this mission.

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