Jan 29, 2018

Giving every child the tools to succeed

An ETM music teacher instrucing a string student
An ETM music teacher instrucing a string student

Happy New Year from ETM! After a restful holiday break, our partner school students are back in action and beginning a new semester of continued discovery. ETM’s program is reaching a record number of children across all five boroughs of New York City, and your support is helping 6,500 children in our newest partner schools who are receiving music instruction for the first time. Our teachers are working hard each and every day to give these students a voice.

For Michael, a first grader at P.S. 23 in the Bronx, music has given him so much more than a voice; it has given him the stamina and self-confidence to succeed in school and life. Adjusting to first grade has been difficult for Michael. He lives in a homeless shelter and lacks the stable support of a home life many of his peers have. In addition, as a child with autism, Michael faces daily obstacles in the classroom. He rarely speaks or participates in class, and does not absorb information as easily as his peers.

When Education Through Music partnered with Michael’s school this fall, every child in the school began receiving general music instruction, including children with special needs. This allowed Michael to start taking music classes, which helped him unlock a talent he didn’t know existed. Despite rarely participating in his other classes, Michael eagerly participates in his music class. His paraprofessional, who aids Michael in each of his classes, has been pleasantly surprised to see Michael participating consistently in music class. Music has provided Michael with a new level of engagement he hadn’t previously experienced, and his love of music continues to grow. Even his other classroom teachers have noticed and commented on Michael’s newfound passion.  

Michael’s music teacher noticed how quickly he was grasping the lessons she was teaching in her class. For instance, she’s been teaching rhythm and tempo to her first graders. When most of the class struggled to understand a new rhythm, ‘ta and ti ti’, Michael was the first student to master it. As a child with special needs, Michael often has difficult challenges in the classroom. This moment of understanding a concept, and being the first student in his class to do so, has given Michael a tenacity for learning that he hadn’t experienced before. Through his general music classes and the support from his teacher, he has discovered a natural talent and is gaining confidence in himself. Without Education Through Music, Michael may never have found this passion that is helping him to engage more deeply with school each day.

By supporting Education Through Music, you are helping students like Michael gain the confidence necessary to succeed in school. Thank you for supporting our model and for providing students with the tools that are helping them achieve more and more. Show your support for ETM by sharing this report with a family member or friend; let them know how far their support can go, too!

Choir from P.S. 154 in Queens singing
Choir from P.S. 154 in Queens singing
Dec 29, 2017

Building Dreams and Brighter Futures

Students sing joyfully at a holiday concert!
Students sing joyfully at a holiday concert!

Happy holidays from ETM! Our partner school students have had a semester full of hard work and discovery and even more awaits in the new year. Thanks to your generous support, a record 30,000 children are receiving in-school weekly music classes across all five boroughs of New York City. You are providing young children in need with access to a well-rounded education. Because of you, they are gaining the cognitive, social, and emotional intelligence they need to succeed in life.

For Sabrina, an eighth-grade partner school student in Brooklyn, anxiety has always been a part of her life. She has struggled with making friends. Often she would find herself with no one to talk to, sitting alone, radiating with self-consciousness and feeling very far away. But Sabrina has always been a singer. She just loves to sing and even studies old Broadway musicals to learn new songs. This year, her school began a partnership with ETM, and Sabrina has been receiving weekly music classes as part of her regular school schedule. She gets to practice singing and deepen her natural musical abilities. Most importantly, her ETM teacher shared, music class is, “…helping Sabrina overcome her social anxiety. When the class is singing together, Sabrina doesn’t have to worry about fitting in with her classmates. Instead, she is a part of the ensemble, fitting in naturally with the blend of music. Her love of music is helping her thrive alongside her peers.”

In just a few short months, Sabrina has experienced transformative emotional growth. She sings in front of her class and has even been leading her whole grade in chorus. Sabrina’s face lights up with joy and pride when she sings with her classmates. Singing is helping her connect with kids her own age. With each music class, she grows more comfortable talking to her peers and feels less and less self-conscious. Recently, she came into her music class and ran up to her music teacher and said, “I think I’m going to be the next big thing on Broadway.”

When children like Sabrina find a way to share their passion with their peers, they build better social skills, gain a stronger sense of self, and develop higher self-esteem. Sabrina may always deal with anxiety on some level but her access to music education is helping her to dream big, encouraging her to focus on her future, and filling her with hope and motivation. With the ETM music program at her school, Sabrina is receiving formalized instruction that is taking her passion and turning it into a means to grow academically, socially, and emotionally. Stories like these are a testament to the impact of your generous gift. You are providing children like Sabrina with an outlet for their dreams. Thank you for believing in the power of music education! Share this report with your friends and family and show them the life-changing impact they too can have on children.

A bassist is all smiles! Credit: Daniel Pagan
A bassist is all smiles! Credit: Daniel Pagan
Festive band students play passionately!
Festive band students play passionately!

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Oct 30, 2017

An Entry to Expression and Communication

Smiling handbell players. Credit: Daniel Pagan
Smiling handbell players. Credit: Daniel Pagan

It’s officially fall, which means ETM partner school students are deep into their weekly in-school music classes. Because of your generous support, a record 30,000 students at 57 schools across New York City are learning music through ETM’s programs. Through 14 brand-new partnerships, over 6,000 students are studying music for the first time!

One of these students is Hector, a first-grader with special needs at first-year partner school P.S. 97 in the Bronx. The school has not had a music program, and for the first time in his life, Hector is receiving music as a core subject.

On the first day of music class, Hector’s music teacher introduced Hector and his classmates to the ukulele. Hector takes music with other students who also have special needs. After singing some songs as a class, each student had the opportunity to strum the instrument while the teacher played different chords. The teacher wanted to give each child the individual experience of playing.

As the teacher moved around the room, Hector became visibly excited and suddenly starting singing a song about fruit. Hector had a passion for fruit. It was one of the few things guaranteed to engage him. His music teacher shared, “I started singing along with him. At the end of the class, Hector started talking very enthusiastically about our song.”

At the end of the day, the music teacher passed one of the paraprofessionals who had sat in on Hector’s lesson. She told the teacher that the students had spoken about how much they enjoyed music class throughout the rest of the day. She then said that Hector must have really enjoyed what was happening because normally he is nonverbal, and it was the first time she had heard him speak. “I was blown away when she said this,” the music teacher explained. “Knowing that my music lesson allowed this student to step outside of their usual behavior and access their abilities to communicate encourages me to continue my career as a music educator. As Hector has shown me, music frees the mind, body, and soul.”

Having music as part of his regular school routine is helping Hector access vital areas of himself. The impact of Hector developing his language and communication skills in music class will resonate in his life both in and out of school. ETM’s model provides music to every student, regardless of talent or ability. This allows children like Hector, who may feel excluded in other disciplines, to reap the benefits of music education like any other student. Through music, Hector is gaining entry into a more expressive and connected life.

Your support is encouraging children like Hector to take extraordinary steps towards improved cognitive and emotional development. Thank you for believing our students! Help 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!

An orchestra player cheers! Credit: Daniel Pagan
An orchestra player cheers! Credit: Daniel Pagan
Choir students sing with heart and soul!
Choir students sing with heart and soul!

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