Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth

by Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA, Inc.)
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Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth
Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth

While a new year always signals change, what has not changed is the dedication of Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA) to bringing hope and joy to students through social-emotional learning-focused music classes, engaging virtual events, and opportunities to showcase students’ musical skills.

Throughout the holiday season, ETM-LA’s typical winter concerts pivoted to become virtual Winter Music Shares, where partner school students demonstrated skills learned in the music classroom on Zoom for family and friends. Each school and grade level performance was unique – from performing “Jingle Bells” using American Sign Language, to singing and dancing, to taking turns playing instruments for the class. In a performance follow-up survey, the parent of ETM-LA partner school student Luna shared, “Music has helped my daughter have confidence and joy for learning at school. Without the music program, school would not be as engaging and fulfilling for her.”

In January, ETM-LA hosted its annual benefit virtually, featuring a Disney sing-along open to everyone at no cost. The 15th Year Celebration Benefit showcased performances by Alan Menken (Academy Award-Winning Composer/Songwriter: Beauty & the Beast, Little Mermaid, Aladdin), Jodi Benson (Tony Award-Nominated Singer/Actress and original voice of Ariel, The Little Mermaid), and Anthony Evans (#1 Billboard Artist in Gospel; Beast, Beauty and the Beast performance at The Hollywood Bowl). The benefit also included a virtual choir of ETM-LA partner school students performing “Seize the Day” from Disney’s Newsies. Students, parents, Principals, and community members joined in the fun and helped raise funds to Keep the Music Playing at ETM-LA!

“When the pandemic hit, my mood went down. I was a little disappointed ‘cause I thought we wouldn’t be able to learn music or it wouldn’t be just the same as in-person. It turns out that my school figured out a way to do Zoom classes . . . every week I have something to motivate me to go to school.” – Renata, 4th Grade student at ETM-LA partner school Providencia Elementary

February brought Black History celebrations into the music classroom for all students as ETM-LA teachers creatively taught the lasting impact of Black music and musicians. Music Teacher Josh Wen taught his 5th graders about Gospel music and the history and significance of the song “We Shall Overcome”, one of the oldest surviving songs of Black music. Music Teacher Angelica Rowell explored the Blues, Bessie Smith, and Langston Hughes with her students; through identifying form, rhyme, and poetry, students created their own Blues lyrics, including “The YouTube Blues” written by her Kindergarten class. And Music Teacher Kimberly Cox Johnson created an entire lesson unit about the history of Black American Sign Language and its impact on marginalized communities. “Every year when we get to Black History Month, I try to think outside the box. A lot of times we look at it from the same lens; I try to figure out different ways to approach it,” shares Kimberly.

As February ended, ETM-LA hosted its Winter Training session for all Music Teachers, which was open to the public. Sessions included a deep dive into Latin American music and culture, culturally responsive teaching and the brain, and music activities for the culturally responsive classroom. ETM-LA proudly offers over 100 hours of exceptional training for music educators and over 420 combined hours of guidance for schools across Los Angeles County in their commitment to building long-term, sustainable music programs.

ETM-LA is unwavering in its mission of working alongside low-income area schools and ensuring equity and access to quality music education in these challenging times, when the joy of music is needed more than ever before. Your support will help ETM-LA continue bringing music and all of its benefits to students across Los Angeles County, and help us close the gap for under-resourced schools that remain deprived of yearlong music and arts programs in their core curriculum.


Thank you to those who have generously given to help provide essential music education services to over 19,000 students across Los Angeles County!

 

ETM-LA provides quality, yearlong, core curriculum music instruction in under-resourced Los Angeles schools as part of the school day for every child. Since its founding in 2006, ETM-LA has grown from 2 schools and 800 students to serving approximately 19,000 students at 46 partner schools in Los Angeles County.

 

 

 

Renata, ETM-LA Partner School Student
Renata, ETM-LA Partner School Student
Student Choir - Virtual 15th Year Celebration
Student Choir - Virtual 15th Year Celebration

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Renata, ETM-LA Partner School Student
Renata, ETM-LA Partner School Student

The 2020-21 school year began the milestone 15th year of programming for Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA). Even amid the pandemic, ETM-LA is continuing to provide sequential, weekly instruction to approximately 19,000 students in 46 schools across L.A. County through distance learning this Fall semester.

Renata, a first-year orchestra student, started playing cello after her older brother Rogelio (ETM-LA Alumnus) sparked her interest in learning music. Renata shares, “He plays and practices [violin] a lot, and I like going to his classes and recitals. I think it had a big influence because I wanted to be part of playing an instrument. Sometimes we even play together.” Renata enjoys learning music so much that even after the school year ended, she enrolled in ETM-LA’s virtual Summer Strings Program to continue practicing her instrument. She also finds playing music “really relaxing… it calms me down a lot.”  

In August, ETM-LA’s dedicated teachers came together virtually for the annual week-long intensive Summer Music Teacher Training Institute. They explored culturally responsive teaching methods and attended courses including Engaging Students Virtually, Social & Emotional Learning through Music, Movement-Based Activities, Making Connections across the Curriculum, and more.   

“It was inspiring to see such a well-executed virtual lesson which actually used and took advantage of some of the perks of being virtual, rather than just being a facsimile of in-person instruction. Very engaging, educational, and inspiring!” – ETM-LA Teacher

At Education Through Music-Los Angeles, their deep and years-long work around Cultural Equity and Inclusion remains paramount to best serving the diverse students and communities of L.A. County. Trainings are ongoing with administrative staff and music teachers, with recent workshop topics including Building Bridges of Unity, The Evolution of Black Music, and Ethical Song Research. ETM-LA is honored to do this work, most especially offering key tools to support teachers in their research, reflection, and exploration of ways to further ensure culturally responsive classrooms for the communities with whom the organization engages.

Following this year’s Training Institute, one music teacher shared, “I appreciate the advice and guidance ETM-LA offers as we’re all aiming to give the students the music education they deserve despite the difficult circumstances.”

ETM-LA proudly offers over 100 hours of exceptional training for music educators and over 420 combined hours of guidance for schools across Los Angeles County in their commitment to building long-term sustainable music programs.

Your support will help ETM-LA continue bringing the hope and joy of music to students like Renata, and help close the gap for under-resourced schools that remain deprived of core curriculum, yearlong music and arts programs. ETM-LA is unwavering in its mission of standing alongside low-income area schools and ensuring equity and access to quality music education through these challenging times, which is when the joy of music is needed more than ever before.

Thank you to those who have generously given to help provide important music education services to under-resourced schools, and to students like Renata!

 

ETM-LA provides quality, yearlong, core curriculum music instruction in under-resourced Los Angeles schools as part of the school day for every child. Since its founding in 2006, ETM-LA has grown to serve approximately 19,000 students at 46 partner schools in Los Angeles County.

 

Renata & Rogelio
Renata & Rogelio

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Music Unites the World Festival - Virtual Ensemble
Music Unites the World Festival - Virtual Ensemble

Even amidst these uncertain times, Education Through Music-Los Angeles remains resolute and unwavering in our commitment to provide high-quality music instruction to disadvantaged, low-income students across Los Angeles. Nearly one hundred students from ETM-LA partner schools enrolled in the two-week Virtual Summer Program where they enjoyed learning and fun while participating daily in virtual strings ensemble, band, or general music and vocal instruction courses.

Each day began with a “Health and Wellness Through Music” session led by Music Teacher and Therapy Specialist Ricardo Hurtado, during which students shared their feelings, performed movement exercises, and learned ways to stay healthy during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The students then continued onto their specialized classes, which ranged from playing the blues to playing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” as well as music theory, conducting technique, and songwriting using Soundtrap and GarageBand.

The students eagerly learned how to play new instruments and expanded their skills on their current instruments. They were especially glad to have the opportunity to see their friends and classmates again, even if it was virtually. Student Ethan said, "I like that I can be in a band with my friends who are also playing different instruments. It's like we are on a team!" Audrey from Castelar Elementary added, “Playing music makes me feel happy, relaxed, and excited. My favorite part about summer program is playing different instruments and genres of music."

Special guests made surprise appearances throughout the two weeks, including Harpist Gayle Levant, who has played and recorded with major artists including Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, and Stevie Wonder, and on hundreds of film and TV projects. Levant shared stories about her illustrious career. When student Ingrid asked if she ever felt nervous when meeting a celebrity, Levant replied only once, “during a recording session with Frank Sinatra, but only because the harp hadn’t arrived at the studio on time!” She also offered advice to the students: “Love what you do, then it will never be work.”

Parents, siblings, and even pets excitedly joined in on the fun at home too! Sally, an ETM-LA parent, shared: “With the stay-at-home orders, they haven't had much engagement... This class gave [the students] a fun, interactive, and educational opportunity to express themselves through communication, music, and dance. We wish it could be all summer!”

The Virtual Summer Program came on the heels of ETM-LA’s 10th Annual Music Unites the World Festival, which premiered on Facebook and YouTube. The virtual festival showcased the power of music and community to bring people together from across the globe. Co-hosted by Actor/Musician Ricardo Hurtado (Nickelodeon’s School of Rock; Netflix’s Malibu Rescue) and Singer/Actress Bridget Barrera (Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place; ABC’s Cristela), festival highlights included interactive music activities — such as a class led by Percussionist Arthur Thompson (Dave Koz) — heartfelt student readings of personal essays, and first-ever ETM-LA virtual choir and instrumental performances.

This past school year, ETM-LA pivoted to provide distance learning instruction and resources to approximately 17,500 students across LA County. In our upcoming 15th year of programming, your support will help ETM-LA continue closing the gap for low-income area schools that remain deprived of in-school, yearlong music and arts programs. We are standing alongside our schools through this difficult time, and we are more resolved than ever in our mission to support equity and access in providing quality music education.

Thank you to those who have generously given to help provide important music education services to disadvantaged schools, and to students like Ethan, Audrey, and Ingrid!

ETM-LA provides quality, yearlong, in-school music instruction in disadvantaged Los Angeles schools as part of the core curriculum for every child. Since its founding in 2006, ETM-LA has grown to serve approximately 17,500 students at 42 partner schools in Los Angeles County.

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Rosa and daughter Ana
Rosa and daughter Ana

Earlier this year, Education Through Music-Los Angeles launched “Bagels with the Band” and “Sweets with Strings” at over 10 partner schools across LA County, where parents enjoyed seeing their children perform onstage – many of them for the first time – in a fun, informal concert setting.

At Rio Vista Elementary, beginner band students proudly showed off their new instruments with group and duo performances. ETM-LA Music Teacher Dominick Mustacato shared, “Multiple students asked to perform duets with their friends. . . they had been practicing these duets at home outside of the classroom. They were inspired to search for different pieces of music that they felt were really engaging, challenge, and fun to play!”

Mr. Mustacato led the students in their performances and went through each instrument family in the ensemble, explaining the instruments in detail including their parts and what accessories they require (reeds, etc). He also gave parents advice on what to look out for while students practice at home such as proper posture, technique, and other useful tips.

Rio Vista parent Elizabeth, whose daughter plays drums/percussion, commented that “[My daughter] has been talking about being in band… she loves it. I think she’s grown from it and she loves being a part of it. Watching her right now, I was really impressed.” She continued by stressing the importance of arts education: “It’s the most important thing, music and art. It has soul and expression. It’s important to being a human being. It fills your whole body; it’s good for the brain.”

For fellow Rio Vista parent Natalie, who played recorder in her school days, having music education in school is crucial. “We’re so grateful that we have it. It’s amazingly cool that they have access to music and to instruments, too. Not just in school but they’re able to take it home and practice, and that makes it special.”

As our community deals with the effects of COVID-19, we are continuing to support our schools by sending home music activities and worksheets, as well as providing virtual music lesson and wellness videos.

In our 14th year of programming, your support will help ETM-LA continue closing the gap for low-income area schools that remain deprived of in-school, yearlong music and arts programs. We are standing alongside our schools through this difficult time, and we are more resolved than ever in our mission to support those who would otherwise not have quality access to education; nor the safety net in times such as these.

Rosa, whose daughter Ana is a beginner violin student at Norwood Street Elementary (pictured), confided: "Ana loves performing. It’s so important for her structure and growth. It truly helps my child be disciplined at school and with tests. She is thankful for the opportunity to have this program in school as they would not otherwise have this privilege." 

Thank you to those who have generously given to help provide important music education services to disadvantaged schools, and to students like Ana!

Hoping everyone stays safe and healthy during this time.

 

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ETM-LA Student Jerry
ETM-LA Student Jerry

It’s that time of year when everyone at ETM-LA reflects upon the amazing accomplishments of over 15,000 students and our dedicated team of educators, staff, volunteers, parents – and YOU!

Thank you so much for coming alongside our mission and helping students like Hooper Avenue Elementary School 5rd Grader Jerry, who shares: “Music class changed my life. Singing and performing makes me feel good and I get to be me. Every time I perform in school, my friends see how happy I am and they want to join music class too.”

Jerry’s mother, Katy, says that since Jerry was in kindergarten, he was “connected to music…music is his calling.” She explains that Jerry has been nervous throughout his childhood, but music has helped him gain confidence and become more outgoing. Having music in school keeps Jerry busy and he forgets how stressful school can be. During his early school years he was bullied by students, but singing will always help him get through the bad days.” Music class has also helped Jerry academically; he is able to focus while doing homework by “humming songs that he previously practiced in class” and even earned the Principal’s Honor Roll this year!

Through Jerry’s involvement in ETM-LA’s music program at Hooper Avenue Elementary, he has been able to perform at the Los Angeles Sparks’ halftime show at the Staples Center and at ETM-LA’s 14th Annual Benefit Gala at the Beverly Wilshire.

In our 14th year of programming, your support will help us continue closing the gap for low-income area schools that remain deprived of yearlong music and arts programs. With your help, we look forward to increasing our impact by expanding quality, sequential music education to 42 schools and 17,500 children across six Los Angeles County districts, as well as continue to offer over 100 hours of top-grade training for music educators and over 420 hours of guidance for schools across Los Angeles County in our commitment to building long-term sustainable music programs.

Katy believes, “Music is the best thing that could ever happen to a child...it helps them express themselves.”

Thank you to those who have generously given to help provide important music education services to disadvantaged schools, and to students like Jerry.

 

Jerry (left) sings at ETM-LA's 14th Gala
Jerry (left) sings at ETM-LA's 14th Gala

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Organization Information

Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA, Inc.)

Location: Burbank, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @etmlosangeles
Project Leader:
Victoria Lanier
Executive Director
Burbank, CA United States
$65,638 raised of $99,999 goal
 
175 donations
$34,361 to go
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