On March 13-14, 2019, Education Through Music-Los Angeles hosted its 9th Annual Music Unites the World Festival as part of Music In Our Schools Month® (National Association for Music Education). Approximately 700 students were in attendance to perform songs from around the world, from 32 of ETM-LA’s partner schools across Los Angeles County.
The two-day festival showcased the musical achievement of Los Angeles youth, along with the transformative power of music to unify people of all ages and from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and geographies. Many children performed together for the first time, bridging communities, schools and school districts. ETM-LA student Katie remarked, “I think it's amazing how fast we can make friends just by the love of music.”
When asked how it felt to be a part of the festival, Layanna enthusiastically replied, “I feel like a superstar!” She continued that her favorite part has been “sharing this time with my friends.” Learning music has had a positive impact on Layanna and has given her tools for dealing with her emotional health and that of her family. “When I'm sad, music helps me be happy. Whenever my mom gets sad, she plays music and I sing to the music, and that makes her happier. And it makes me happy when my mom is happy. So that's why I love to sing.”
The festival culminated with hundreds of youth voices united in song on the 2019 ETM-LA competition-winning composition, appropriately titled "Music Unites the World." In an essay that the students submitted on the theme, Frankie wrote that “music bonds us to each other by creating a shared experience with one another.”
Emilio Garza, principal of new ETM-LA partner school Elysian Heights Elementary, commented on the transformation of his students due to ETM-LA’s involvement this school year. “We recently had our winter program... our kids have an amazing voice and they were really able to showcase it during our event. I couldn't be happier with what ETM-LA has been able to do with our children, and how they've been able to grow and express themselves in a musical way.”
Thanks to supporters like you, in its 13th year, Education Through Music-Los Angeles (etmla.org) is partnering with 36 disadvantaged LA County schools to provide quality music instruction to approximately 15,000 children as part of the schools’ core curriculum.
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