This fall P.S. 84 and M.S. 313 in Brooklyn launched their respective ETM music programs, introducing high-quality music instruction to over 600 students. ETM Music Teacher Charlie Ortiz reported that the music program at M.S. 313 has “seen 100% student involvement, parental support and many smiling faces.” M.S. 313 recently received brand new acoustic and electric guitars, which will be used by every student in the school in the music classroom. In particular, Mr. Ortiz will use the guitars to teach to the ETM Benchmarks and enable students to make and experience music first-hand. Students have already engaged in singing, playing percussion instruments, and writing their own music in class. Interest in one-on-one and continued instruction has even developed among students, who love to keep the music playing during after-school hours. Mr. Ortiz reports that “The students have responded well [to the music program] and many can be seen in the music room after school playing drums and guitars.”
While M.S. 313 has succeeded in starting to build support for its music program within the immediate school community, P.S. 84 has been active in cultivating a music environment inclusive of its parents. P.S. 84’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) invited ETM to their meeting on November 20th. At the PTA meeting, ETM Music Teacher David Blumenthal and Field Supervisor Allison Mickelson led a group of parents in music-making exercises that got everyone up playing boomwhackers, singing, moving….and thinking about the importance of music education! The meeting was as productive as it was fun: Parents had an opportunity to learn more about ETM and its role in providing music education for their children. Parents also came together later in the session to help organize the keyboard lab, which is adjacent to the newly painted music room.
Still, with all the early success these two new ETM partner schools have experienced, it is imperative that ETM continue to work to provide students and teachers with musical instruments and instructional materials to reinforce classroom lessons. Mr. Blumenthal stated “Orff instruments including xylophones, metallophones and bass bars would be incredible additions.”
Our project success at P.S. 84 and M.S. 313 has been possible in thanks to your support. Yet, our work at these newest partner schools is just beginning and requires continued support. Please consider forwarding our project to a friend or colleague who you think might be interested in donating. Thank you.