Educational Mentoring Through The Arts & Humanities

Rating: 4.88 stars   17 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth

Location: 323 East Gay St #B7 West Chester PA 19380 USA

Mission: EMTAH inspires and empowers young people to thrive. Through its unique arts mentoring approach, EMTAH taps and develops student potential by promoting creativity and providing early success.  Stimulated by their progress, students learn to apply their new skills to other areas of their lives. EMTAH also advocates for social and educational reform and the implementation new social and therapeutic interventions.
Results: EMTAH has served over 2,500 young people in Seattle, WA - Albany, NY - and Chester County, PA. Our stories of students tell the most about our results: When “Steve” came to EMTAH had ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and a grade point average of 1.8. He wandered the streets, experimented with drugs, spoke incoherently, and often hit himself in the head. When he started studying piano at EMTAH, his ADD was most evident in his lack of focus and ability to keep time. He was literally unable to beat his foot four times in a row. Steve’s teacher began to develop an in-depth creative relationship with him, and using our progressive and rhythmic curricula he taught him to focus and build his concentration. Once “Steve” was able to focus and concentrate on rhythm, he was able to begin applying this ability to other areas of his life. Within one year Steve had raised his GPA to 3.5; he later graduated with honors from the University of Washington graduate school and recently emailed us to say he is now happily married and earning his PhD at the University of Maryland. ----- Before her mother died, Sharia had lived for months in unused tunnels of the New York Subway, sticking her skinny little arm up into the candy machines to feed herself and her younger brother. When she was put in care of the State, she was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and only spoke in whispers. She started with EMTAH taking singing in a small group – in time, was singing from the stage. ----- Josef was a seriously depressed teen who often missed his lessons. “When he first started, he was extremely self-critical”, his teacher said. “He was very quiet and he’d sit and play, and every time he made a mistake he’d scold himself. He was very hesitant to communicate with me – he was never hostile, but he held himself back”. In time, Josef regularly made his lessons despite having to take two busses to get to the studio, and developed an easy rapport, often joking with his teacher. His social worker told us “EMTAH has truly been a life-saving intervention for him.” ----- Jasmine had a 4.0 GPA (grade point average) but was lonely and isolated. She grew into a happy, well adjusted student who was content with a GPA of 3.5 because she’d reclaimed and rejuvenated her spirit. ----- These are not just isolated success stories – EMTAH students thrive.
Target demographics: Young people ages 10-21
Direct beneficiaries per year: Up to 100 in Chester County
Geographic areas served: Chester County, PA
Programs: The EMTAH Ensemble (currently choosing a name!); Creating Voice; the Cafe Performance initiative; Youth Panel - youth leaders helping adults understand the issues youth face today; individual and small group instruction on piano, bass, guitar, percussion.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Being parents of a child helped by EMTAH we want to just say thanks. Our daughter had been experiencing a great deal of emotional turmoil for the past three years with no clear diagnosis. The latest manifestation was a very definite anxiety issue which would quite simiply leave her in a disfunctional state. The public school was unable to meet her needs and an alternative setting became necessary. For extra help we were referred to EMTAH as a possible additional outlet for our daughter who had expressed interest in playing the guitar. She found that the acoustice guitar was not what she wanted so EMTAH went the extra mile and started teaching the Bass guitar which she wanted. Her confidence over the past several months is nothing less than astonishing. Just two days ago she was able to perform two songs with the EMTAH ensemble in front of a host of people at the Fall Frolic event in West Chester. She appeared calm and really showed confidence. Even better she really enjoyed herself. I can not say enough about Delbert Boyer her individual teacher nor the Rossi's in there ability to individually understand and meet our daughters specific special needs and at the same time help her master the guitar. They are using music to help her overcome her anxiety all the while instilling confidence to help move her along in life. To all those at EMTAH we thank you very much for all your help.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

We have seen the change in our daughter.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Whenever I feel that I'm starting to lose touch, EMTAH moves me, and gets me back into the groove. Not only as the bass player in it's jazz ensemble, EMTAH gets me into my own groove: my own, real, confidence and flow. Once I feel myself start to step out of this groove, I loose it, I fail to "hear" the music so to speak, and dispite my constant playing, I loose feel. Thanks to EMTAH, I remain in touch with all that is around and inside me. I see the big picture. I am more patient with myself since joining EMTAH and know I can give myself the space I need to learn. It is inspiring to work and share myself with others on this level and it inspires every aspect of my life. It inspires how I share myself whole-heartedly at the dinner table, being patient while listening to someone speak, asking a question when I need to. I am patient with myself. I continue to harness my own expressiveness through creativity, like a wild horse that just needed some breaking in. EMTAH has helped to reveal my calling, my future, my power, and my path: My groove. -Austen Royce Goodman

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

give all children the will and the knowledge to learn.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

We hired EMTAH musicians to perform at our family party. We were so impressed and inspired by this multitalented group! Their professional attitude, talent, and love for music, made their performance outstanding. The fact that EMTAH helps optimize their social, emotional, and physical well being is a plus for them and all of us. The pride they have in their unique abilities shines through in their music. Whether they pursue music as a career or not, their enhanced self esteem will benefit them, as well as society in general. I highly recommend that you seek out this group to perform at any function you plan as well! S.Peiken

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I admire the students, as well as the mentors themselves. The mentors are to be complimented for their time and effort. The gift they are giving these students is not just music, but an enhanced self esteem. An attribute for a happy life.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

As parents of one of the EMTAH students we just love how Bill and Mary Helen teach the kids responsibility as well as music. Bill instills a work ethic...it is not talent alone that will give you success. The EMTAH staff are very caring and patient. What really excites our daughter is performing at various venues...sharing her love of music with others and realizing hard work pays off... Hopefully this wonderful program can grow and mentor many more kids in our community.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the wonderful staff. They work very hard with the kids and are always looking to expand their services.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

When I joined EMTAH in April of 2009, I was only focused on "the now" of things. I was only worried about what was going on in that exact moment of my life, and I was not worried much about my future. For the most part, I was unorganized, unmotivated and only wanted to receive drum lessons to better myself. But now that I have been in EMTAH for almost a year, this program has taught me to look towards the future. And not only the future, MY future. Bill has told me on numerous occasions that this program will take you as far as you want to go in music. And that has excited me very much! When I joined the Jazz ensemble a few months ago, after stopping my drum lessons to play softball for the season, I never thought that we would excel to where we are today. Being in the ensemble has taught me that I need to be reliable. If I do not come to rehearsal, then this can affect the way the other members rehearse or play. EMTAH has taught me that music is a group effort. That I need to put in 100% of my effort to make myself play better, but also listen back to what others say around me to better the group. And lastly, EMTAH has taught me the value of music in life. I've always loved music, especially rock and alternative rock. But Bill has helped me expand my knowledge of music genres by opening me up to funk and jazz. I never thought in a million years I would be listening to "Kind of Blue" By Miles Davis AND playing it! But here I am today, actually doing those things. I enjoy EMTAH very much and would absolutely recommend it to anyone who enjoys music, wants to feel apart of something, and anyone who needs help looking towards their future and kick-starting their life! In a nutshell, EMTAH has helped me get organized (I play the drums and there's a lot of parts I need to remember for a gig, and if I forget one, this affects the other members I am playing with). EMTAH has helped me get motivated (I look forward to Saturday afternoons playing with the group and learning new things) and last but not least, EMTAH has taught me more than music. It has taught me to look towards my future and become the best me that I can be. =)

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

playing at gigs with the jazz ensemble. It makes me feel like I am working together with my band mates to create something special for not only our ears, but also for those around us.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I am a Family Mentor and Advocate and have had they pleasure of working with EMTAH and the Rossi's on several occasions in the past year or so. I have referred at least a half dozen families their way with wonderful results each time.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the passion of the people that run it!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I became interested in EMTAH after a close friend told me about the work she was doing with the program. I began going to events as often as I could and was instantly hooked. Being able to watch the mentor/student interaction first hand is truly amazing. EMTAH strives to improve children's ability to learn through arts and music. If there were more programs like this available for at risk kids to be involved with, I feel there would be more progress in their educational journey.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing first hand how the students perform and react to the mentoring.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

drastically improve many more student's lives.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I have had the pleasure of working with Mary Helen and Bill Rossi to produce a musical concert aimed at raising awareness of teen depression and suicide prevention. They gave freely of their time and talents to organize this event and to have some of their students perform. The students I have met through this program are awesome. In the past year, I have seen these young people blossom and grow. EMTAH has definitely found a way to reach out to youth and make a difference in their lives.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

by meeeting and working with their students.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them a building to house their programs and provide space for performances.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their ability to reach youth who may be struggling with educational or emotional difficulties.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, patient and generous.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

save a lot of kids.

Ways to make it better...

we could have had more time together.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

connecting through music is a innovate way to reach youth.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

While I'm not a parent, I have spoken with one of the founders about this program who is passionate about helping youth and believes deeply in the power of the "mentoring" process. I am sure everyone has had the experience of having a particular teacher in their life, who helped shape and form who they are today... I'm no exception... and if there is one wish I could have for every child growing up, it's that they have at least ONE role model/mentor who hears them, cares about them, helps build their self-esteem and encourages them grow as an individual. I believe EMTAH is doing just that.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

completely dedicated and passionate about helping youth.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

I have been involved with EMTAH both as a professional and as a parent. From a parent's perspective, this program is the "missing link" in helping youth. The connection that the mentor/teacher develops with the youth is priceless. To watch them "communicate" through music is breath taking. I often arrive early to pick up my son after his lesson so I can watch the interaction between him and his teacher. I am not ashamed to admit that it brings tears to my eyes; as done the huge smile on my son's face as he leaves the lesson. I believe the emotional connection and the vulnerability of the teacher is one of the things that make this unique program "work".

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching my son as he learns, grows and interacts with his teacher. I've also had the opportunity to observe other youth and their teachers and it is just as awesome!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to make it available to more youth!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their unique concept of working with youth.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

awesome! Each person seemed very interested and vested in the youth they work with!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make a difference in the lives of many, many youth!

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to give to help this organization.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

on-going support and funding!

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am impressed with every aspect of this incredible, unique program.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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