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September 27, 2011

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September 27, 2011

Working with Education Through Music, Inc. (ETM), so far, has been pure delight. In seeking a non-profit to commit my efforts to, I was looking not just for one with a cause that was meaningful to me and a good track record of service, but a number of additional features that I look for in any group that will bear my name and reputation. I wanted:

(i) a diligent, functional and collegial board that believes in the mission, supports and works seamlessly with the executive staff and is willing to address issues head on, but with creativity and a positive attitude;
(ii) staff members who wake up thrilled to be doing what they are doing, are passionate about their work and who respect their colleagues and the board;
(iii) inspired and nurtured in-the-field staff, who therefore inspire their “consumers”, people who work well as a team and are willing to teach and learn from each other;
(iv) office and field staff who know what they are doing, are well trained and respected in the relevant areas and are committed to excellence;
(v) transparency, accountability and discipline across the board;
plenty of benevolent supervision, monitoring, evaluation, honest and constructive feedback; in sum, quality control;
(vi) longevity of partnerships, success in staff retention;
(vii) thrilled consumers of the service;
(viii) metrics - scientific and anecdotal - of a high quality organization;
a “je ne sais quoi”, “The Buzz” - that sense we all get when we enter an environment - whether it is a community of worship or a company or a sports team, whatever it may be - and we can tell that something exciting, well done, zen is going on here.

I have seen all this at ETM. The Board takes its duties seriously, pays attention to the issues and works well with the executive staff. The highly qualified, very smart administrative and program staff members seem to join and stay on and on - they believe in the mission, see their successes in the communities they serve and enjoy working together. The music teachers are gifted musicians who teach with vim and rigor; they undergo continuing teacher training provided by ETM, are supported and regularly evaluated by ETM and also provide feedback to ETM. The principals and children are energized by the program. ETM has earned a number of awards and quality designations for its work and has managed to grow even in a time of shrinking public budgets and shallow corporate and personal pockets.

ETM is doing something very right and very well. Come see for yourselves. And donate!

The Great!

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

(i) visiting a partner school, talking to the principal, sitting in on music classes; (ii) heard a student choir performance; (iii) participated in teacher training sessions; (iv) read various reports and third party evaluations of the organization; (v) talked extensively with administrative, program staff and music teachers; (vi) participated in board and committee activities.

Ways to make it better...

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

Extend fundraising outreach, particularly with individuals and corporations.

September 26, 2011

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September 26, 2011

While working as the education director for the Stamford Symphony Orchestra we were fortunate enough to gain two major funding opportunities. When tasked with developing a curriculum incorporated program for the Boys and Girls Club of Stamford and a district-wide student concert for the Stamford Public School district, I turned to Education Through Music. Through their incredible expertise we were able to create the following two programs and it was only through their dedication and hard work that these they were as successful as they have been for the past 4 years:
1. Boys and Girls Club: Created an interactive 10 week after-school music appreciation program following the CT Standards for Social Studies for grades 1 through 3. Developed teaching materials,trained musicians to teach the curriculum and manage the classroom, as well as provided an overview for the counselors at the center. Over the past four years this program has served over 500 under-priviledged students in the city of Stamford and provided them with a level of music instruction unmatched in the public school system.
2. 4th and 5th grade distric-wide concert: ETM worked with the Stamford Symphony's music director and conductor to develop a comprehensive concert that brought to life the 4th and 5th grade social studies curriculum "American History". The American Experience takes students through the founding of a new nation through the first World War and utilizes music as a snap-shot of the culture of those times. Resource books and CD's were created for all elementary schools and professional development with music teachers from the district was conducted by ETM. Over the past four years close to 12,000 students in the Stamford Public schools have participated it the American Experience Concert
If it wasn't for the innovative thinking and enthusiasim of Education Through Music neither of these programs would have been possible. They are an extra-ordinary resource to arts programs,the city of Stamford and utlimately the students in our public schools.

The Great!

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

Watching the Boys and Girls club students see musical instruments and learn about how they sound and work together in an orchestra was incredibly rewarding. The district wide concert was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Children listened and participated in a classical concert and you could actually see their self esteem rising. Many of them had never been to a live performance before in their lives

Ways to make it better...

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

Find ways to get more funding for them and expand their programs. More hands on programs of this nature are needed in urban areas and my biggest complaint is that I couldn't expand these incredible programs into more grades within the school district

September 24, 2011

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September 24, 2011

I was a part of the Education Through Music team for two years. After graduating from college, I was looking to work somewhere that was mission-driven and that made a meaningful impact on the lives of disadvantaged children. I was fortunate to find my way to ETM, an organization that showed me all that is possible through high-quality music education. My colleagues at ETM were all passionate about the work and tireless in their efforts to constantly improve the music programs and the efficiency of the organization. It is remarkable that ETM is able to provide an entire year of music instruction to a student for just $150. There are few organizations that can claim to do this at such low cost, and it is proof that the mission to provide all children with a great education is an attainable one. My time at ETM was inspiring because I got to see how music education helped students and schools, and because I was in the company of talented , knowledgeable, and passionate people.

The Great!

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

the feedback from parents, students, teachers, and principals who received our programs. Students were grateful for the opportunity to learn music, participate in band and orchestra ensembles, and perform at school concerts. Parents, teachers, and principals saw how the music programs positively impacted their students in so many different ways, including their academic performance, self-confidence, and motivation for school.

Ways to make it better...

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

Expand their presence to many more school districts across the country where music education is absent from the curriculum.

June 21, 2011

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Review from CharityNavigator
1 previous review
November 21, 2010

Education Through Music "provides" music teachers at a school my child attends in the Bronx. At first, I thought it would be a wonderful program and was excited about opportunities afforded to my chi... more

June 21, 2011

This winter the opportunity arose to visit Education Through Music's beautiful suite of offices in midtown Manhattan, directly above Grand Central Station. If only New York City's school children could learn in an environment as lovely as the one occupied by yet another "non-profit."

The Great!

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

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Ways to make it better...

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

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November 21, 2010

Education Through Music "provides" music teachers at a school my child attends in the Bronx. At first, I thought it would be a wonderful program and was excited about opportunities afforded to my child. However, as more details about their teachers and monetary arrangements emerged, I became disillusioned. Education Through Music hires unqualified "teachers." Most are post graduates with a degree in music performance and absolutely no experience in teaching. Education Through Music, on average, fires/loses approximately 75% of their teaching staff every year, which is not the consistency we need when dealing with children. As well, although they claim to be a non-profit who PROVIDES for underprivileged schools, the public school my child attends paid $18,000 to Education Through Music this year to receive the services of teacher that came twice a week. 40 weeks, 2 times per week = 80 days. Divide that by $18,000 and that comes to $225 per day that a DISADVANTAGED PUBLIC SCHOOL is paying ETM for their services. This is not non-profit. It is robbery.

The Great!

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

nyc public school

Ways to make it better...

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

investigate them for fraud

January 31, 2011

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January 31, 2011

PS 68 is a school in the Bronx, New York that has a working relationship with ETM for over 13 years. They were very proactive in finding resources to sstaff our school with a variety of string instruyments. As a result of this partnership I am please to announce that our school has a full string orchestra for students in grades 4 and 5. Additionally ETM had provided a piano accompanist for our Gospel Chorus. Our music program has been so successful that several of our students have app;ied to and been accepted into Julliard School of Music. Ongoing professional development is provided for our entire staff. The theories presented have had a dramatic impact on academis subjects. When ouy youngest children are studying non-numerical concepts inclufing in front of, next to etc., they can identify with where instruments are seated in a full orchestra. Learning the value of notes can transform a mathy lesson into a challenging experience. Studying composers and current musicians has motivated the students to write and publish wonderful research projects. It should also be noted that people move into our community just their students have the opportunity to learn a sequential music curriculum.

The Great!

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

As a school leader, I am thrilled to see the excitement and enthusiasm on the students faces the first time they play a keyboard or tenderly pick up a violin. The music program is a fantastic motivatoe to keep children coming to school daily.

Ways to make it better...

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

It a wonderful as it is!!!!! I just wish they had more money to provide us with teaching artists five days a week.

January 30, 2011

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January 30, 2011

Education Through Music has made a great impact on the lives and development of my students. They look forward to their weekly music class as a space and time where they can create, explore, build confidence, and develop a sense of community.

The organization has a strong student-centered
philosophy that asserts all children benefit from a well-rounded education that includes the arts. Through sequenced curriculum, well-stocked classrooms (instruments, teaching aids, libraries, etc.), and high-quality concert productions, Education Through Music equips students in some of the least advantaged neighborhoods in the city with skills and experiences that will serve them throughout their lives.

The Great!

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

Over time, I have witnessed my students develop skills in areas such as discipline, self-expression, creative problem-solving, and critical thinking as a result of music learning. Ongoing professional development and staff support for teachers ensures that students receive the best quality music instruction. I have implemented countless teaching strategies and lesson ideas from these sessions. I am a more confident and effective educator thanks to my experience with Education Through Music!

Ways to make it better...

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

With programs in over two dozen schools across the city, the program staff members stretch themselves thin providing support to all their teachers and clients. Resources for additional personnel would help strengthen existing programs and allow for the organization's expansion as well.

January 30, 2011

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January 30, 2011

In my first year as a board member, Education Through Music has exceeded my expectations. Through my experience as a lifelong musician, my years working for a non-profit educational organization and as a mother of young children, I was drawn to ETM's unique mission. Seeing the work of ETM's dedicated staff in and out of the classroom to not only just teach music but to make a measurable difference in the way children learn has been a great experience.

The Great!

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

seeing the great teaching staff at work in the classroom

Ways to make it better...

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

increase awareness of the organization and its work

January 28, 2011

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January 28, 2011

I've been a volunteer with Education Through Music for about five years and have had nothing but great experiences with the organization. When I joined ETM I was looking to work with a cause that I could identify with on a personal level, and have never been let down by the work we do. For those who are not in the know, ETM partners with under-funded / inner-city schools to provide comprehensive music education to children who would otherwise have no access to arts education. When I was growing up, music was a huge part of my upbringing, and I love that I am able to work with an organization that provides children with access to this field. Moreover, I have always been impressed by ETM's level of dedication to their cause in that their programming is unique to each school's needs and is by no-means cut-and-paste. ETM's staff is incredibly profession and committed to their work, as are other volunteers with the program. And, as an added bonus, we typically have a lot of fun together! Please help in supporting this amazing organization!!

The Great!

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

meeting children that the organization benefits and seeing the results of their hard work!

Ways to make it better...

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

none

January 28, 2011

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January 28, 2011

I have been involved with music my entire career. Working as a senior corporate executive at the largest global music companies and with responsibilities for operations in countries throughout the world. The value of music education in schools is observed all over the world. In the USA, where music, arts and languages are given less funding and attention than in many countries and cultures elsewhere we are stifling the creativity of the succeeding generations.
ETM helps to fill that gap. I have been to the classroom and seen the response of the students as well as the excitement of the parents, teachers and principals.
ETM is an effective, innovative program that provides vital service in a supportive and loving way.

i am proud to be associated with Education Through Music.

The Great!

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

classrooms in New York city

Ways to make it better...

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

increase its funding to bring more service to more children

January 28, 2011

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January 28, 2011

I am proud to have been a board member of Education Through Music for the past five years. My decision to join the board was based on the time I spent visiting partner schools and meeting with the dedicated teaching and administrative staff. What I found (and continue to see to this day) is a program focused on bringing demonstrable positive change to our most needy communities. Quantitatively the music program has been shown to help students in schools that we serve improve their english and math test scores. What is harder to measure is the pride the students and their parents have in achieving new skills in music.

The Great!

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

Having the opportunity to see the positive interaction in class between students and their music instructor; observing the community pride at concerts and recitals.

Ways to make it better...

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

Find ways to expand the impact of ETM to more schools and regions.

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