Give In-School Music Classes to Los Angeles Youth

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

Education Through Music-Los Angeles culminated another successful year in December through a whirlwind of winter concerts and special performances that recognized holidays from around the world.

On December 6th, ETM-LA celebrated 10 years of quality music education at its Benefit Gala, which featured beautiful performances by our strings, band and vocal students and such artists as En Vogue, Michelle Branch, Eric McCormack (Will and Grace), John Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls), and the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Our students performed the Academy Award® and Golden Globe-winning song "Glory" from Selma. "It was such an honor to have the children perform 'Glory,' along with Bob Marley's 'One Love,'" said Common, who gave the students a standing ovation.

When asked what it felt like to sing “Glory,” 8th grade student Gabriel shared, “Powerful. Like you just got through something hard.” Our students will remember performing at the gala as one of their forever memories, and we thank you for making this moment possible!

While students were on winter break, music teachers participated in rigorous training sessions that shared effective teaching pedagogies for ukelele, recorder, strings, and band instruments. In breakout sessions, music teachers discussed ways to improve student engagement. Field Supervisors Alex Collie-Hartmann and Irene Navarro presented best practices for classroom management and curriculum mapping. They shared how clarifying goals and expectations helped to create a vibrant environment for learning.  “The whole experience was a good model for us to apply to our own teaching style,” shares a music teacher.

Principals and leaders from partner schools also gathered at the ETM-LA headquarters to discuss ways to advocate effectively for music education.  Rio Vista Elementary School Principal Sadaqatmal and PTA President Melissa Lynch shared how open communication with parents was a valuable component of building a strong, sustainable music program.

We are thrilled to announce that we will be beginning two new partnerships with McKinley Elementary School in Compton and Normandie Elementary School in South Central LA – bringing our services to approximately 10,000 this year.  These partnerships are possible because of your incredible support, and we thank you for helping us come one step closer to bringing music education to every child in Los Angeles.  We are making systemic progress in Los Angeles County schools, and thank you for making this change possible!

ETM-LA Music Students Perform "Glory"
ETM-LA Music Students Perform "Glory"
Paramount
Paramount's Randy Spendlove Visits Rio Vista Elem.

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Mario, Student at partner Guardian Angel School
Mario, Student at partner Guardian Angel School

Education Through Music-Los Angeles kicked off its 10th year of providing quality music education in schools by adding new partner schools, offering professional development workshops, and presenting community events in our new office space.

Through your support, ETM-LA will serve a planned 20 schools and approximately 10,000 children this school year. We will be expanding our programs in the Burbank, Compton, Pasadena, and LA Unified School Districts, as well as parochial schools across LA County. Among the new schools, we began music programming at Hooper Avenue Elementary, a low-income South LA school in which approximately 96% of 975 students qualify for Free/Reduced Price Lunch. We will also be partnering with McKinley Elementary, a Compton school that is in critical need of a music program. Every child in our partner schools will receive comprehensive music instruction because of your incredible support.

The fall has also brought wonderful community events and learning opportunities in ETM-LA’s new office space.  Students and community members attended a special meet and greet with composer Patrick Doyle (Cinderella, Brave, Sense and Sensibility). Mr. Doyle played memorable excerpts of his work on the piano, and took students on a journey behind the music of Cinderella through a lively Q & A.  Music teachers also participated in the August professional development workshops at the new office space, and began utilizing the brand new Resource Library to plan lessons for the fall.

Music is changing the lives of students, and motivating them to go to school. Cynthia, a parent of music student Mario shares, “I have seen music impact my child by way of personality, opening up to others, being able to express emotions, participating in school, and having the confidence to answer questions.” Mario is one of 10,000 children who we will be serving this school year, and we are so grateful for your support during this stage of major program expansion. We would love to hear from you on how we can make the greatest impact in serving school communities with the greatest need. 

Thank you for joining our mission and providing children with hope for a brighter future through music education!

Music Teachers Participate in Training
Music Teachers Participate in Training
ETM-LA Students
ETM-LA Students
Music Teachers Participate in Training
Music Teachers Participate in Training

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String Students Perform on July 27th
String Students Perform on July 27th

Our summer at Education Through Music-Los Angeles has been a time of community building and cool concerts! 

Through your support, ETM-LA Music Teacher Christa Camilleri began teaching two years ago at partner school KIPP Iluminar in East Los Angeles. The music program has helped build a vibrant school community – one in which students have gained life skills such as cooperation and being good listeners. “Music education has helped my students become more aware of their surroundings,” shares Camilleri. We are thrilled to see KIPP Iluminar’s school-wide program flourish, so much so that they are able to sustain their program through hiring Camilleri on full-time onto their staff. “Besides reaching underserved populations of students who may not have access to music education, ETM-LA provides quality professional development for teachers and enables them to grow as well.  I am a better teacher now because of my involvement with ETM-LA,” said Camilleri. 

The summer also brought a splash of cool concerts which included a special performance on July 27th featuring ETM-LA violin and cello students from Providencia Elementary, other young accomplished artists and Los Angeles Philharmonic Concertmaster Martin Chalifour. Chalifour, who has held his role as Concertmaster for 20 years, performed two movements from the popular Bach Partita for Violin No.3. Typically only being able to see him from afar at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the audience cherished the experience of hearing him up close at the First Presbyterian Church of Burbank. Teenager Maya Paredes, a talented pianist and cellist, both produced and performed at the concert.  She had mentored the Providencia Elementary students this past year and wanted to support ETM-LA in some way. “I have seen first hand the work Education Through Music – LA does in our local schools and wanted to encourage people to donate and help support music education in public schools.” 

This coming school year we plan to expand our reach from 16 to 20 schools serving approximately 10,000 children. We’d love to hear from you on how we can make the greatest impact in serving school communities with the greatest need. 

Thank you for joining our mission and providing children with hope for a brighter future through music education!

Students perform at a Compton School Board mtg
Students perform at a Compton School Board mtg
LA Phil Concertmaster Martin Chalifour Performs
LA Phil Concertmaster Martin Chalifour Performs

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Kaia with her Drums
Kaia with her Drums

Kaia, a 4th grader at Rio Vista Elementary, was told that drums are for boys. She was inspired to begin playing the drums because no one was going to tell her she could not. This small step will shape how Kaia sees herself and develops as a young woman and citizen of the world. “I decided to play the drums because a lot of boys said that I couldn’t because I was a girl and I just wanted to prove them wrong.”

“Music makes my life better because it’s really, really fun, and it helps me get motivated for school, and when I’m having a hard time I can just practice,” shares Kaia.

Thanks to supporters like you, children like Kaia can continue to thrive through a robust and well-rounded education that includes music and the arts.

On April 17, 2015, along with over 170 other students, Kaia participated in ETM-LA’s 5th Annual Music Unites the World Festival bringing together students from all over Los Angeles County – Chinatown to Compton, Burbank to Boyle Heights and Sylmar to Sun Valley. They were excited to play music with peers whom they had just met and to receive coaching from our Music Faculty members, guest artists and educators including Joseph Trapanese (Composer, Insurgent, Oblivion, Earth to Echo), Misha Shtangrud (Choral Director, Colburn School), and Phil Feather (Studio Woodwinds Musician, Jurassic World, Mad Men).

Kaia is currently one of over 7,000 schoolchildren we serve at 16 disadvantaged schools with weekly, yearlong comprehensive music instruction.  Our goal for the upcoming school year – and our 10th Anniversary – is to expand to reach over 8,500 children at 20 schools.

We would love to invite you to visit our music classes in action at anytime.  In addition, as we expand our music education programs, we’d love to hear from you on how we can make the greatest impact in serving school communities with the greatest need.

Thank you for joining our mission and providing children with hope for a brighter future through music education!

Kaia with Matthew, Instructor
Kaia with Matthew, Instructor
Music Unites the World Festival
Music Unites the World Festival

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Mae C with her trombone (pictured left)
Mae C with her trombone (pictured left)

For ETM-LA 5th grader Mae C whose favorite genres of music include pop and jazz - music is a conduit for self-expression. “I like music because you get to express the way you feel.  I also like the way songs express sadness, happiness and drama,” she says. 

Thanks to supporters like you, we believe that someday, Mae C will have the opportunity to reach her dreams of becoming an animator, architect, and attorney through a robust and well-rounded education that includes music and the arts.

Erica, Mae C’s mother shares how music has positively impacted her daughter’s life. “[Mae C] takes great pride in being a member of the band. She is very responsible about knowing how to play the pieces and she likes showing the new players how to play. Mae C is very good at the trombone and that helps her self – esteem,” says Erica.

She also relays the importance of music for every child: “Music is part of who we are as human beings. At school, it is a group of students making music together.  They have to work together.  They rely on each other and enjoy being part of the whole.  Reading music is another language.  It helps the brain.  Music should be part of every school curriculum. It cuts through all that divides us.” 

Mae C is currently one of over 7,000 schoolchildren we serve at 16 disadvantaged schools with weekly, yearlong comprehensive music instruction.  Our goal for the upcoming school year – and our 10th Anniversary – is to expand to reach 8,500 children at 20 schools.

We are grateful for your continuing support and would love to invite you to visit our music classes in action at anytime.  In addition, as we expand our music education programs, we’d love to hear from you on how we can make the greatest impact in serving school communities with the greatest need. 

Thank you for joining our mission and providing children with hope for a brighter future through music education!

Mae C & students w/ Actor Josh Gad (Frozen)
Mae C & students w/ Actor Josh Gad (Frozen)

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Organization Information

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

Location: Burbank, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.etmla.org
Project Leader:
Victoria Lanier
Executive Director
Burbank, CA United States