Give In-School Music Education to NYC Youth

by Education Through Music, Inc.
Vetted
Edna and Mitchelle shared their story at our Gala.
Edna and Mitchelle shared their story at our Gala.

Happy Summer from ETM! Last month, another exciting, fun-filled school year came to a close. Because of your generosity, nearly 27,000 children in New York City spent the year immersed in weekly in-school music classes. Learning musical skills and knowledge throughout the year helped improve their concentration, focus, and critical thinking abilities. And it didn’t end there—they also developed a stronger sense of self and increased self-esteem. For many of our students, music was a benefit beyond the classroom; it made a positive impact that rippled throughout the rest of their lives. For two partner school students—sisters Edna and Mitchelle, this is especially true. At a time when their family was experiencing hardship, Edna and Mitchelle joined the orchestra at their school and began to overcome the challenges they were facing.

Mitchelle shared, “When my sister and I first joined orchestra in elementary school, we had to carry our instruments on trains and buses from our temporary residence in Manhattan as early as 4 a.m. in order to be in the Bronx for our 6 a.m. orchestra rehearsal. Most nights we only slept for three hours. But being in orchestra gave us hope in the present and hope for the future. I couldn’t wait to start practicing because music took me to another dimension. All of my troubles and worries seemed to melt away. It seems like just yesterday when [my music teacher] taught me how to play “Amazing Grace” on my violin. I went home very excited and immediately played it for my mom. When I finished, I noticed tears in her eyes. I said, ‘I know I’m bad, but you don’t have to cry about it!’ To which she replied, ‘These are tears of joy.’”

Edna explained, “Music has given our family a new take on life. We felt very privileged to be a part of the orchestra.  It was a blessing to our family at a time when our family fell apart. Learning new songs with my sister and playing for the pleasure of our mother bonded us. Our mother was thrilled that we became so passionate about music. She became so engrossed in our practicing that despite her desperate need for sleep before her night shift, she would stay awake watching us.” Mitchelle said simply, “Education Through Music has provided a meaningful education to us and our family.”

Stories like these reinforce our presence in schools and how profoundly music can touch a child’s life. When Edna and Mitchelle and their family needed hope, music gave it to them. And they are not alone. Thousands of economically disadvantaged students now have a more promising future on their horizon because supporters like you are committed to bringing them quality music instruction. We thank you for believing in our students and in the power of music education. Show your support for ETM by sharing this report with a family member or a friend. Let them know how far their generosity can go, too!

A flutist concentrates on her music-making!
A flutist concentrates on her music-making!
Band students play with passion!
Band students play with passion!
Percussionists keep the beat!
Percussionists keep the beat!

Links:

Two bassists concentrate on their music making!
Two bassists concentrate on their music making!

Happy Spring from ETM! As we transition into warmer weather, our partner school students are also experiencing marvelous transformations because of your generous support. Thanks to you, nearly 27,000 children at 48 partner schools in all five boroughs of New York City are using music as a means to grow academically and emotionally through exciting, interactive learning experiences.

Music class provides a safe, nurturing environment that promotes self-expression in children while also improving analytical reasoning, fostering language development, and strengthening social skills. Music teachers serve as champions for students’ growth, supporting their social and emotional development. For Miguel, a 7th grader from the Bronx, encouragement from his music teacher helped him overcome his shyness and build self-esteem.

Because of his introverted nature, Miguel was a very quiet student who often seemed sad and was apprehensive about expressing himself. Nonetheless, Miguel was an undeniably talented trombone player—but in the middle of the year, he began to feel uncertain about his place in the school’s band and considered quitting. His ETM music teacher knew that Miguel had natural musical instincts and decided that perhaps a simple change in instrument could be the boost Miguel needed for his self-confidence. His teacher suggested the tuba since it requires similar technique to the trombone. And it worked!

His teacher shared, “The tuba hooked him. We had our first tuba lesson, and he was a natural.  He not only sounded great on the tuba and picked up reading the lower written music quickly, but you could see an excitement in his eyes that had not been there before.” Playing the tuba reignited Miguel’s love for band and inspired him to become more present in school. Now he is performing better academically and is bonding with his bandmates. “Miguel’s grades have improved tremendously,” explained his teacher, “He is in honors classes and was at the recent honors assembly, but most noticeably, he is beginning to open up. It is tough for a quiet person to open up, but band has helped him do that. And now the band has an awesome tuba player who is excited to be there! Band is the only class in the school where students stay together for all three years, so the kids develop their own relationships that they wouldn't have anywhere else.”

That music was able to transform Miguel into a child who has a stronger sense of self-esteem and self-worth is a wonderful testament to the opportunities made possible by your generous support. The impact you have had on Miguel has put him on a path towards a successful life both in and out of school. Because you believe in our students, they are starting to believe in themselves, too! Show your support for ETM by sharing this report with a family member or a friend. Let them how far their generosity can go.

5th graders are eager to start their band concert!
5th graders are eager to start their band concert!
A saxophone player gets into the groove!
A saxophone player gets into the groove!
A trumpeter plays with dedication!
A trumpeter plays with dedication!

Links:

Our students are so grateful for your support!
Our students are so grateful for your support!

Happy New Year from ETM! We are so grateful for your generous investment in our partner school students. By supporting ETM’s in-school weekly music classes, you are allowing thousands of children in need to develop the intellectual dexterity and emotional sensibility needed for a bright and prosperous future.

One of our core values at ETM is that every student—regardless of their talent or ability—deserves to receive quality, comprehensive music education. This is especially meaningful for our partner schools’ special needs students, who can cultivate vital skills through a nurturing environment that encourages them to persevere through their personal challenges.

For example, Ritchie is a partner school student in the Bronx who suffers from behavioral and mental challenges that make it difficult for him to be fully engaged during the school day. At the beginning of the school year, Ritchie was unable to sit through music class without causing a disruption to his classmates and often had to be removed for instruction to continue. Ritchie’s ETM music teacher could see that he was fascinated by music, and there was an opportunity to use Ritchie’s curiosity to teach him how to behave in class and connect with his peers. She and the classroom teacher decided to gradually increase the amount of time Ritchie spent in music, raising his degree of involvement with each class. After a transition period, Ritchie was able not only to behave in class for the entire period, but also to share positively and contribute to the learning experience.

His music teacher commented, “Recently, Ritchie was able to dance with a scarf to symphonic music without causing any disruptions. He sang one of our songs for this unit with all the right words, pitches, and actions all by himself. He has been actively participating and learning with the rest of the students in his class. It is a great feeling to watch a student who struggles so much with group activities learn how to appropriately interact with his peers. When I passed Ritchie in the hallway this week, I heard him singing the song he performed by himself in music. It's exciting to watch this student take what he is learning outside the classroom!”

Music has inspired Ritchie and given him the motivation to engage deeply with school and to bond with his peers. These are valuable skills that will serve Ritchie beyond the school setting and help him thrive as an adult. The future for children like Ritchie is instantly brightened when music enters their lives. It empowers them to believe in themselves, boosts their self-esteem, and transcends any barriers that stand between them and learning. Without you, Ritchie and students like him would not have access to quality music education and the opportunity to experience such dramatic transformations. Ritchie and all our partner school students performed in concerts in December, showcasing their new talents and abilities for family and friends. We hope you enjoy the pictures!

Thank you for your support and belief in our students! Help us promote music education in inner-city school by sharing this report with your friends and family. Let them know the impact their donation can have on deserving students like Ritchie.

Students smile triumphantly after their concert!
Students smile triumphantly after their concert!
Two cellists play with heart and soul!
Two cellists play with heart and soul!

Links:

Students eagerly participate in music class!
Students eagerly participate in music class!

It’s an exciting time at ETM! Our new and returning partner school students are busy settling into a new school year, embarking on a journey of self-discovery and insight; navigating through their new classes and friendships; and learning important skills and knowledge along the way. ETM’s weekly in-school music classes are off to a great start, filling students’ school routines with joy and wonder as they begin to tap into newly discovered talents and abilities. Your commitment to music education has made this new beginning possible for our students! Engaging with music as part of well-rounded education can have a profound impact on the lives of young children. Not only do they increase their achievement in the classroom, but music class also serves as a healthy outlet encouraging self-expression and strengthening their social and emotional capacities. This is especially true for Kendrick, a third-grade partner school student in the Bronx. Music class is helping him cope with painful losses in his home life and driving him toward success in school.

Kendrick is in foster care and was recently separated from his brother when the two were placed with different families. The absence has been very hard for Kendrick, who frequently talks about how much he misses his brother, and the burden has caused his academic performance to suffer. In most classes, Kendrick is very distracted and needs to be constantly redirected to his school work—except for music class. In music, Kendrick is fully engaged with lessons and shows an eagerness to learn. His music teacher, Mr. Washington, shares that Kendrick is, “most responsive in music class,” where “he is just as focused as his peers.”  During one recent lesson, Mr. Washington was introducing body percussion and steady beats to students. Kendrick was so enthusiastic about the lesson that he helped Mr. Washington create a game based on improvised movements. After the game was created, Mr. Washington asked the class, “What should we call this?” and Kendrick—bursting with inspiration and excitement—said, “Mr. Washington, we should call it Get with the Beat!” Mr. Washington thanked Kendrick for his contribution and used Get with the Beat for the entire week. Mr. Washington notes that the two things Kendrick talks most about are his brother and music class. Music is encouraging Kendrick to apply himself in school, giving him the inner strength and motivation he needs to move forward in spite of his personal hardships. Mr. Washington said, “I am happy that I could bring something as positive as music into his life. It is moments like these that remind me why I became a teacher.”

Kendrick is just one of the over 25,000 students ETM’s partner school program is reaching this year. Because of supporters like you, we were able to expand our reach tremendously this year to serve even more children! Thank you for helping to provide deserving children with the opportunity to learn the self-confidence and critical skills they need to succeed in life. Your investment is building brighter tomorrows for inner-city students across New York City—like Kendrick, whose passion for music is steering him toward a positive direction in his life. Share this report with your friends and family and show them the life-changing impact they can have on children by supporting their music education!

Two flutists play with passion!
Two flutists play with passion!
Students smile infectiously during music class!
Students smile infectiously during music class!
A tuba player concentrates on her music making!
A tuba player concentrates on her music making!

Links:

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:

 

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Organization Information

Education Through Music, Inc.

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.ETMonline.org
Project Leader:
Katherine Damkohler
Executive Director
New York, NY United States
$2,398 raised of $50,000 goal
 
 
46 donations
$47,602 to go
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