Music Instruments & Supplies for NYC Kids

by Education Through Music, Inc.
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Students sing joyfully as their teacher conducts!
Students sing joyfully as their teacher conducts!

Happy spring from ETM!

The school year may be wrapping up, but our partner school students are still hard at work building a wealth of skills and discovering new talents during their weekly in-school music classes. This has been an exciting year where students have improved their cognitive reasoning and boosted their self-esteem through the greatest gift of all: music. Your generosity is impacting over 27,000 students across New York City. Because of you, our students are becoming well-rounded children with brighter futures ahead.

For our first-year partner school students, this has been an especially incredible and thrilling year because it was the first time that comprehensive music instruction played a constant role in their learning experience. And because of this opportunity, they have started to think differently about themselves, their futures, and their education. The music program also provides an exciting new avenue to unify the communities of first-year partner schools. For many parents, events such as student concerts foster a new, positive association with their child’s school and offer them a way to engage with other members of the school community.

For P.S. 277 in the Bronx, the thriving music program is making a huge difference in the community. The school is located in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx and serves approximately 440 students in grades Pre-K-5. Of these 440 students, 99% are students are of color, 16% are English Language Learners, 94% qualify for the Federal Free/Reduced Price Lunch Program, and 10% have special needs.

ETM music teacher Adrianna Lee has witnessed first-hand the impact the music program has had on the school. She believes that the program has genuinely become embedded in the school’s culture.

“I have heard such wonderful feedback from many of the teachers at the school. Before the winter break, I took the select chorus caroling around the school. The 1st-grade teacher told me that it was such a lovely gift to both the kids and teachers and that no one had ever done anything like that with such energy and enthusiasm. Recently, I spoke to the receptionist who said that she was so impressed by the quality of the kid's singing. She said that there were so many kids who were participating with such enthusiasm and that she had no idea how many kids were so talented at the school. Finally, she thanked me for bringing it out of the students in a way that she'd never seen.”

The students’ hard work culminated in a spectacular spring concert in April. The auditorium was packed with parents, guardians, and members of the community. Each song was greeted with thunderous applause as the students beamed with effusive pride. Ms. Lee had the students sing advanced repertoire that included songs in different languages, such as Spanish, Hebrew, Zulu, and Swahili.

This marvelous event was emblematic of how far the music program has gone today and how much music education can accomplish in just one year. Next year, P.S. 277 hopes to start an orchestra program, which will give students another opportunity to further develop their music skills.

Your support has been instrumental in the success of P.S. 277’s music program and the success of all of our first-year partner schools. You have helped to expand the horizons of students, foster a deeper appreciation for music within the school, and bring together the community. Help us 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!

Students are deeply engaged in music instruction!
Students are deeply engaged in music instruction!
Student perform with pride at a spring concert!
Student perform with pride at a spring concert!

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Band students pose after a concert!
Band students pose after a concert!

We’re halfway through the school year, and because of your generous support, our partner school students are fully immersed in their in-school weekly music classes. By now, music instruction has begun to take a clear shape, with teachers sculpting students’ minds through new musical concepts and skills, and students transferring this knowledge beyond the classroom and into their daily lives. These experiences can transform a child’s personality and their attitude towards school, most especially the students at our first-year partner schools—many of whom are receiving music for the first time.

For instance, Arianna, a second-grader at PS 8 in the Bronx, is using music to focus her energy and to develop stronger social skills. Arianna is a very rambunctious and energetic child. During the beginning of the year, it was difficult for her to sit still and to follow directions. Arianna’s outbursts would distract her classmates during instruction and she would have trouble connecting with them, often feeling isolated from peers. Participating in movement and group activities in music class is giving Arianna a means to channel her energy and helping her stay at the same pace as her classmates. Arianna also now happily assists her ETM music teacher, Ms. Feinberg, in passing out worksheets and collecting homework during class. Because music has given Arianna an outlet for her energy, her focus and concentration have improved significantly. She is positively engaging with her peers and listens carefully to directions.

One day, at the start of class, Arianna called out happily, "Music! We have music!" Then Arianna ran over to Ms. Feinberg and gave her big hug, offering her a drawing. Ms. Feinberg shared, “It was a picture of me smiling, and it said ‘Music Teacher’ at the top. Arianna said, ‘It's you! Do you like it?!’ I told her that I loved it and that it warmed my heart. I thanked her and told her that I couldn't wait to show it to all my friends and family. I gave her a big hug and said, ‘Let's start music class!’ Arianna nodded joyfully and sat in her spot, and has been able to stay in her spot during every class since.”

Arianna’s school, PS 8 is a first-year partner school located in the Fordham Manor neighborhood of the Bronx. The partnership between P.S. 8 and ETM began when the school’s principal had a dream of bringing music education to the K-5 school’s nearly 1,100 students. After learning about ETM’s music programs, she turned her dream into a reality. Now every student receives weekly music instruction provided by two music teachers, and this past December every student performed in a winter concert. Because of wonderful donors like you and your kind contributions, schools like PS 8 who have never before had music are now able to share the gift of music education with their students—deserving children like Arianna.

We thank you for supporting our mission and believing in our students! Help us promote music education in inner-city schools by sharing this report with your friends and family. Let them know just how far their support can go!

A saxophone player gets into his groove!
A saxophone player gets into his groove!
Band students play with dedication!
Band students play with dedication!
Young students sing at a holiday concert!
Young students sing at a holiday concert!

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Happy Thanksgiving from ETM! We are so grateful for your support of our partner school students. Because of inspiring donors like you, nearly 27,000 inner-city children across all five boroughs in New York City are immersed in weekly in-school music classes—many for the first time ever! Your support helped us launch 48 new partnerships this fall. Your commitment to music education is creating nurturing environments that use music to shape young minds, as children develop the cognitive skills and emotional intelligence crucial for reaching their full potential. 

Receiving music as a core subject increases students’ higher-level thinking skills and helps them reach new heights in their social and emotional development. It’s a life-changing impact you can witness in our partner school students.

Students like Amir, a PreK student in the Bronx, who—for the first time in his school life—is experiencing the world through music. As an English Language Learner, language often acts as a barrier for Amir at school—inhibiting his ability to connect with his classmates and teachers. His ETM music teacher shared that Amir usually seems sad and withdrawn because of his inability to fully express himself in English. However, one day, Amir silently walked over to her and started to play a drum. She joined him and starting playing another drum. “His face was full of excitement,” she explained, “and you could tell he was finally happy! We communicated through high-fives and smiles while he continued to have a great time playing his drum.”  In that moment, music served as a universal language that sparked a true connection between Amir and his music teacher. She notes that from that day on, Amir has participated in every activity in music class with a huge smile across his face. She remarked, “I might not be able to understand his native language, but I am able to see that music has made a true impact on his life—one that needs no language to explain.”

Now Amir displays more confidence in himself and walks around with his head held up high. He’s more independent and is making huge leaps in achieving proficiency in English. Just seeing that music class is on the schedule for the day excites Amir, who is overcoming his language hurdles one drum beat at a time.  Music is driving him towards a future where he will be able to fully articulate his feelings and thrive in any setting.

Stories like Amir’s can only happen because supporters like you make generous investments in their lives. Sponsoring a child’s music education has a tremendous and measurable impact—especially if the child has never before experienced music as a constant part of their school routine. Suddenly, doors open and brighter futures are on the horizon. Music class acts as a catalyst for students’ improved academic achievement, motivation for school, and self-confidence. Even more, it fills children with a joy and happiness that transcends all barriers. Our students thank you for your belief in them!

Share this report with your family and friends and let them know how they can make a difference in the lives of children like Amir—an impact that will last long after the holiday.

A flutist concentrates on his music-making!
A flutist concentrates on his music-making!
A trombone player plays with diligence!
A trombone player plays with diligence!
Bassists keep the beat!
Bassists keep the beat!

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For many students at our first-year partner schools, this past school year was full of firsts. It was the first time that music class was a constant presence in their school life. It was the first time they performed on a stage for family and friends. It was the first time that through music education they achieved a positive attitude toward school, higher self-esteem and self-confidence, and a greater sense of creativity. Because of your support, students who had never before had a music program at their school received quality music instruction every week for an entire school year, enriching their learning experience and enlivening their school routine. Your generosity for our partner school students has turned school into a place where dramatic transformations are not only possible, but are seen among their peers, where success is attainable for any child who reaches for it, and where music class is means to a brighter future.

At first-year partner school, P.S. 369 in the Bronx, ETM music teacher—Ms. Summa— noticed that one third-grade student in particular exhibited a significant shift in attitude and behavior since music class began. Nicole had a reputation for being a troubled student who was uninterested in learning and sought attention in class by acting out. But her misbehavior was masking her frustration with school and a lack of confidence in herself. As the year progressed, Ms. Summa observed Nicole steadily develop into a model student through music class. First, Nicole learned how to read music much more easily and quickly than her classmates, helping her improve her academic performance in other classes as well. At home, Nicole practiced on her recorder every day after school, which translated to a deeper grasp of lessons in music class. She was able to play any rhythm that was given to her, which gave her a reason to believe in herself. Nicole had a natural gift for music that no one had discovered before. Tapping into her natural musical abilities led her to excel in unprecedented ways. She no longer felt the need to act out, because she was receiving attention in music class. Ms. Summa rewarded Nicole with a solo on a metallophone in the spring concert. Her increased self-confidence and self-esteem was on full display as she struck her metallophone proudly. Playing instruments and being entrusted with additional responsibility gave Nicole a reason to leave behind her misbehavior and head in a new direction. With music education in her life, Nicole is on track to a successful and productive future. Ms. Summa can’t wait to have her in her class next year and build upon her musical skills and knowledge.

Nicole is just one of the thousands of students that benefited from your gracious support this year. First-year partnerships are at the heart of our partner school program; they illustrate the immediate beneficial effects music can have on students and over time, demonstrate how comprehensive, skills-based music instruction can make a measurable impact on students’ academic and personal growth. Thank you for helping us bring music education into the lives of thousands of deserving children this year. Show your support for ETM by sharing this report with a family member or a friend; let them how far their generosity can go, too!             

Students prepare for their concert!
Students prepare for their concert!
Students rejoice as they sing confidently!
Students rejoice as they sing confidently!

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Students practice choreography in music class!
Students practice choreography in music class!

With summer on the horizon, Education Through Music’s partner school students are working diligently to end the school year strong. It’s been a productive and exciting year filled with transformations, growth, and fun —especially for our first-year partner students!  Thanks to your generous support, these students have enjoyed a year of quality weekly music instruction; learned how to take pride in themselves through concert performances for their family and friends; and developed a deep understanding of and appreciation for music. We want to share with you excerpts from essays by 5th graders at first-year partner school P.S. 87 in the Bronx. Each student was asked to describe why music is important to them.

Dana expressed how playing the viola has had an emotional impact on her.

Music is important to me because it helps me stay calm. It also helps me be very focused. Music gives me something to look forward to everyday and lets me express my creativity. Being a musician is fun. I eat, breathe, and sleep music now.”

Xavier focused on the benefits from playing music.

Music can make people feel happy. From playing music a person can learn how to multi-task. For instance when you’re playing you need to place your finger in the right place on the right string. I play the cello. The cello is a very awesome instrument to play. Music is important to me because at home when I do not feel good, playing my cello makes me feel better.

Kayla shared the insight she’s gained in music class.

Music can relax you and make you feel blissful when you feel sad. Counting helps musicians be on time when playing an instrument. This allows the music piece to sound like it is flowing, otherwise it will be rushed and will feel like a blur. You can use anything from your environment to make music such as pots, pans, possibly bottles filled with rice. In music you can be yourself and have fun.”

Because of your support, students have made wonderful discoveries about themselves and the world around them. You have helped us utilize music education to steer thousands of deserving students in New York City toward a brighter, more successful future. These students’ essays where overflowing with gratitude for having music in their lives. Thank you for making music education a reality for them. Consider passing this report along to a friend or colleague who can help us continue to make a difference in the lives of children in need.

A student plays her trumpet proudly.
A student plays her trumpet proudly.

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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
$3,097 raised of $25,000 goal
 
69 donations
$21,903 to go
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