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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Music

Mission: Education Through Music, Inc. (ETM) makes music education a reality for thousands of children who would otherwise have limited or no exposure to the arts. ETM partners with schools that lack sufficient funding for school-wide music programs, and ETM ensures that every student enrolled in these schools receives weekly music instruction. Since 1991, ETM has harnessed the power of music to enhance the academic performance and general development of its students. Our work provides these children with the skills to become better learners and the confidence to live in an increasingly challenging world.

Results: Analysis from the 2014–15 school year indicates that ETM is meeting its objectives of supporting students’ academic achievement and general development. Overall, students in schools that receive the ETM program perform better academically than students in schools with similar demographics that do not receive the ETM program. Students’ participation in ETM music class and school performances contributes to their creativity as well as to their social and emotional capacities. The program encourages students’ motivation for school in general. Findings include: • ETM supports students’ social and emotional development. Nearly all parents and classroom teachers (ranging from 96%–98%) believe the ETM program positively impacts students’ confidence, self-esteem, and cooperation with their peers. • ETM positively impacts students’ academic achievement: 90% of ETM students in grades 3–8 reported on surveys that music class has helped them focus and participate more in school, and 78% of middle school students said that music class has increased their desire to go to school; 95% of classroom teachers believe ETM has enhanced students’ math, literacy, and critical thinking skills. • Students in longtime ETM partner schools earned higher scores on the New York State Math and English Language Arts assessments compared to students in peer schools (schools serving similar demographic populations). • Special need students in longtime partner schools earned higher Math scores than their peers in non-ETM schools. • Partner school leadership highly rated the overall program: 92% of principals agree that participation in ETM’s program increases students’ engagement in school. Full reports are available at www.ETMonline.org/evaluation.

Target demographics: low-income children in grades Pre-K through 8th grade

Direct beneficiaries per year: 27,000 kids

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: In 2016-17, we anticipate that ETM's partner school program will provide music education to an estimated 27,000 economically disadvantaged students in 48 schools in NYC who would who would otherwise have limited or no arts exposure. ETM provides music as a core subject to every student. We hire music teachers; we train these teachers so they can be eligible to be hired by schools as part of a long-term plan for sustaining programs. We conduct outreach to classroom teachers and parents to build understanding and advocacy for music education. By providing quality music education to close to 27,000 students and building support within school communities, our programs: provide students with musical skills and knowledge; support growth in students' self-confidence and self-esteem; support improved achievement in other academic areas; support community involvement; and increase the capacity of partner schools to sustain music programs on their own so that the benefits of music education can continue beyond the life of ETM.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ETM's good goes beyond just what they advertise on their website. As a former employee and then eventual partner teacher of theirs for many years I have come to see many of the levels of good they do.First is the obvious one of providing an experience for inner city students who otherwise would not have had the opportunity at all. The stories go on and on, year after year, about the student who was exposed to an ETM program at their school and are now either performing better overall or are taking it a step further as to be at high schools like Laguardia. These countless success stories would not have been possible without ETM.Second is the opportunity it offers its teachers. I was well prepared coming from my undergrad to take on the world as a music educator, but I would not have been nearly as successful in those first few years had it not been for the support from ETM. The professional developments, the resources, the advice, the counseling... it was almost like student teaching 2.0. I soaked up everything I could and adapted to become a better music educator.I don't know where I would be today without ETM, and thousands of new students every year say the same thing.

Amie T.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I recently joined the Board of Education Through Music and couldn't be more excited about the opportunity. The vision from leadership to the execution at the school level was inspiring. I sat in on a 5th grade class and was memorized how the ETM teacher was able to captivate their attention for the entire class. It was clear that the kids were so intent on learning the tune and the beats and you could visibly see their minds at working figuring out the balance. I hope that more and more principals see and understand the importance of music as a fundamental tool for building learning capacity and general development. The arts are so important and a much needed outlet for our youth. I’m looking forward to helping this organization grow and impact more and more lives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I was introduced to ETM, I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of this incredible organization. What impressed me the most was that ETM is an organization that impacts children’s lives through music every single day. In addition, their unique teaching model is designed to not only expose students to music but to take those skills learned and translate them to other areas of learning. I have witnessed the dedication and passion of the staff, the teachers and the kids and it is inspiring beyond words. I believe that music education is instrumental in developing innovation and creativity in various fields; math, science, business. And I am so proud to be a part of this organization; an organization that stands above many others because of its on-going dedication to music education and its impact on children's lives and their future.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Education Through Music (ETM) is not only committed to the central role music education should play in students' academic and cultural lives but -- and this distinguishes it from most other organizations focused on delivering music or arts education -- ETM is committed to touching every student in each of its partner schools at least once a week all year. This is very important: the oremise is that every student, whatever their apparent level of musical talent, deserves to explore music and to experience the communal and individual radiating benefits that playing and appreciating music has in their broader academic and social lives. ETM trains and supports experienced music educators in, and transforms its, partner schools. The confidence this instruction, attention and rigor gives to students who have not previously played music in an organized way, and the joy it gives their families to see their kids in a holiday concert for the first time is stunning. ETM as an organization is thorough and rigorous -- developing curricula for its music educators; selecting and working with partner principals; thinking through its strategic direction to maximize its impact on students and the communities it serves; acting as a steward of resources -- and has a dedicated and talented staff and board to support its ambitions of growth and continued excellence. ETM also makes an impact nationally through its affiliate and outreach programs; these permit the model to be replicated as appropriate in other underserved communities outside New York. ETM serves a great and vital cause and does it intelligently, efficiently and with joy. A great organization that I am proud to be associated with.

2 Edward P.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have seen ETM change lives. When ETM moves into a new school, the test scores for reading and math jump by over 40% within the first 2 years of their arrival. Attendance improves, parental involvement improves, teacher morale improves, and music concerts get parents coming to the school and leaving feeling proud of their child. This organization is professional and effective. I am committed to transforming our educational system. This organization is the single most effective one that I know of that is delivering great results in many, many schools today!! You've got to learn more about this one. It is really special!! -- Edward Petner

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Education Through Music for 20 Years. ETM’s mission of bringing quality music education to inner-city schools has been an interest of mine. In addition to music
the ETM program advances academic and personal development in every child attending our partner schools. Our classes are scheduled on a weekly basis throughout the academic year.
Music gives children self esteem and strengthens cognitive skills. This leads to higher test scores, creates better thinkers, and lifelong learners overall. The program’s goals are enhanced by engaging highly qualified music teachers and giving them specialized training specific to the goals of the organization. Continuous evaluation of both students and teachers keeps the program dynamic and assures a high success rate. Every year we work to improve our programs and to reach more children.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

In my past professional career, I served as a board member, director of professional development, HR director, Personnel Director, Management Team member, of a not-for-profit education organization. I learned over the course of a dozen years, that the quality of your professional development determines the success of your program. I recently participated in a day of professional development at ETM. The experience was an informative and inspiring way to learn about and understand what ETM does. The coaching staff is impressive - smart and obviously well trained in music and in up to date pedagogy. And our own staff was simply excellent! The plan of the day, the pedagogical content covered, and the site all reflect a strong mission and an effective organization. I was especially impressed by the rigor of the music program we are offering our schools. Not only are our teachers teaching to a high academic standard, but they are also teaching students to think and supporting the skills they need to be successful in the rest of their academic program.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.