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Education Through Music, Inc.

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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: Findings indicate that students in schools that receive ETM perform better academically than students in schools with similar demographics that do not receive ETM. Students’ participation in ETM music class and school concerts contributes to creativity as well as to social and emotional capacities. The program encourages motivation for school in general. Previous findings include: • ETM supports students’ social and emotional development. All surveyed classroom teachers believe the ETM program positively impacts students’ attitude, creativity, effort, self-esteem, and cooperation with their peers. • ETM positively impacts students’ academic achievement: 84% of ETM students reported on surveys that music class improved their focus; 76% of middle school students said that music class increased their desire to go to school; upwards of 96% of classroom teachers believed 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. • The ETM program promoted stronger relationships between schools and parents and supported community engagement; 64% of ETM parents reported that they have been more involved in the school community since their children started ETM. • Partner school leadership highly rated the overall program: 97% of principals and 98% of classroom teachers evaluated the ETM program positively. Additional information is available at ETMonline.org/evaluation.

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

Direct beneficiaries per year: 34,000 kids

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: In 2018-19, ETM's partner school program is providing music education to an estimated 34,000 economically disadvantaged students in more than 60 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 students and building support within school communities, ETM: provide students with musical skills and knowledge; supports growth in students' self-confidence and self-esteem; supports improved achievement in other academic areas; supports community involvement; and increases 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

118 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Advisor

Rating: 5

ETM has been on an amazing journey over the past several years and seems very well positioned to have even more impact in the years ahead. The ETM in-school program is incredibly strong and has a real impact on the lives of children and families and their engagement with schools. The Board and staff are thoughtful about building a successful, sustainable, and scalable organization. The deepening of the organization and their study of how to make their own work better promises amazing things ahead.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am proud to have served ETM in the programs department for the past two years. In my position, I worked closely with office staff, teachers, administrators, parents and students in ETM partner schools. This unique role gave me valuable insight into many aspects of how ETM works “in the field.” There is an amazing in-house team of experienced music educators who support and supervise partner school teachers in navigating the NYC school system, curriculum, and best practice in the classroom.
The fact that so many NYC students do not have access to music education proves the ongoing need for ETM. During my tenure, the organization underwent a period of growth and structural changes. The mission, however, remained constant: empowerment of all students through quality music education!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ETM makes an invaluable contribution to the lives of tens of thousands of school children by providing them with a top-notch music education that would otherwise be out of reach.
As a professional musician and educator I have visited several of ETM's partner schools with my ensemble, the Israeli Chamber Project, and seen first hand the impact their work has on these students' lives.
This work goes a long way to strengthen the communities in which ETM operates and should be supported generously.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have had the rare opportunity through my employer to learn about ETM and their program from the inside-out, working on a consulting project to assist the organization with complex and high level strategic initiatives. The organization does amazing work and they have an unbelievably impressive team with highly driven individuals running the organization as well as teachers and mentors with unparalleled skills and passion for ensuring that every child has access to music education. I cannot say enough great things about this organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a former employee for ETM, I witnessed this organization's work first-hand for nearly three years.

ETM stands out from other organizations in the arts education community because of its deep commitment to education. I was always deeply impressed by how their model succeeds in helping students improve in all academic areas. The organization is run by a mission-driven and passionate staff who go above and beyond in providing students with music instruction and ultimately aim to prepare students to succeed in all aspects of life—not just in school.

ETM is an exceptional organization with an outstanding model because they help students develop transferable skills, teaching students how to sharpen their academic, social, and emotional abilities. They also serve every student at a partner school—even those with special needs and English Language Learners. They believe in equity, meaning all students receive quality music education, which is truly remarkable. The organization also thoughtfully evaluates their work, seeking for ways to refine and improve it constantly through rigorous in-house evaluation. This is something I had not seen at comparable nonprofits.

During my time at ETM, I always admired how invested they were to serving high-need areas in New York City, providing students in low-income and historically economically disadvantaged communities with the incredible opportunity to study the arts in ways that served them holistically. Many of their students at first-year partner schools have never taken a music class. And when ETM enters a community, often times there is a dramatic transformation in the school community, including increase in students' attendance levels and a deeper engagement from parents and community members. I've seen it with my own eyes, and it's wonderful.

Ultimately, ETM's work is very valuable and highly necessary in this world. Luckily, ETM is very committed to growing, through careful consideration, so it will be wonderful to see how they evolve and expand in the future!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a former employee with ETM, I had the pleasure of witnessing the tremendous work they do for NYC schoolteachers and students on a regular basis. The most compelling part of ETM, for me, and something that makes the organization stand out in the arts ed community, is their emphasis on professional development. ETM invests a considerable amount of time finding high-quality music teachers to place in partner schools. But the relationship doesn't end there. ETM holds a week-long training institute over the summer to help ease the transition of these teachers and prepare them for their work in the field. They also hold countless professional development sessions throughout the year. Each teacher has an experienced mentor guiding them along the way, and the ETM offices have an entire resource room that the teachers have access to.

So much of what makes ETM such a fantastic organization is their commitment to their stakeholders. ETM forges strong relationships with principals to ensure that each partnership is tailored to the needs of the school. ETM really is a gem in the arts education community. It was a privilege working for them, and I look forward to continuing my relationship with ETM in the future as a donor.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

First off, I would like to say that I love the mission of Education Through Music. As a kid growing up in NYC who attended public school I know the impact that the arts in general has on students. I always looked forward to music and art class every week because I didn't feel performance pressure. I could express myself in a way that I couldn't in other subjects. I know the kids at the various schools I visited must feel similarly and I am happy that I was able to connect with them on my visits.

ETM staff are amazingly friendly, supportive, and really make you feel like your apart of the family. Although, I was part-time and worked in the field most of the time, every time I walked in the office I was greeted as if I had been a regular office staff member. Although I am sad that I will not be returning to ETM, I do cherish the time I spent working with the Evaluation team and I wish them plenty of success with their future findings. I definitely plan on keeping in touch because I would love to see the final findings of this study.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to work with the outstanding staff and leadership of Education Through Music. I was quickly impressed with the integrity, commitment and dedication of this group. Their work provides the instruments, instruction, and inspiration students need to develop a love for music. When you think about their impact, it's substantial. They help more than 30,000 students every school year to find their creative voice through music.

This is a team of highly dedicated teachers and administrators committed to enriching the lives of students and investing in their staff. I have worked with the leadership of Education Trough Music and what really impresses me is their investment in their staff. They work to ensure that every teacher and staff member is trained, prepared, and given the tools to succeed.

Education Through Music is an outstanding organization with incredible leadership and dedicated teachers.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a witness to the great work that Education Through Music (ETM) does for the past year. Not only do they advocate music education for every child, but they have a unique program that actually works toward their mission. ETM hires, develops and mentors the teachers they place in their partner schools so that each school and teacher have the best chance for increased learning outcomes. I have not found another music education charity that serves schools and students like ETM. Their attention to detail and dedicated leadership makes ETM my music education charity of choice.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Education Through Music has made a large impact on schools throughout New York City. It continues to reach out to schools and make a difference not only in music but in the community at large. ETM is not about creating the next famous musician, although it could happen, but rather giving every child the opportunity to have music and be a well rounded student. As ETM continues to grow, I hope more and more schools take advantage of such an amazing program where students are the priority.

Donor

Rating: 5

I submitted a donation from an organization and ETM made it super easy. Even when the tax receipt did not reach me (postal service error), ETM was great to work with, everyone I interacted with was very polite, and the issue was quickly resolved. Great organization with a great purpose!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was a teaching artist for ETM my first year in NYC. I taught and ran the orchestra at PS 182 in the Bronx. I learned so much from teaching through this organization. I grew as a teacher, an artist, and human being. The professional development and the skills I obtained through ETM quickly translated to other areas of my professional and personal life. My colleague, Mr. Solano, who is now a mentor for the organization, was and still is one of my greatest influences and mentors. What I truly value the most from my experience with ETM was the relationships and impacts I was able to forge and nurture with every single one of my students. In fact, my time at ETM in conjunction with all the positive change I was able to experience, further inspired me to pursue a career in social work. I will be starting next fall, and hope to promote education, social justice, and positive change in the lives of children, just as ETM has continuously done!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had friends who have gotten certified through other fellowship programs. NONE of them have received the support that I did while working at ETM. I was able to get a job right away, full-time in a school while I finished my master's degree and certification. They helped me with everything from how to manage classroom behavior, to repertoire suggestions for different grades.
Most helpful are the benchmarks and the lesson planning tips. I cannot say enough about ETM. I was recently hired as a DOE teacher in the school they placed me and it all because of their help. I felt more prepared my first year of teaching than some of my colleagues after 2-3 years.

Matthew K.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a proud member of Education Through Music's Board of Directors for the past three years. I have never met a more dedicated community of individuals than the teachers, administrators, directors and supporters of ETM. The most amazing aspect of ETM has been the opportunity to meet the students we support and see our contributions in action - to see these kids smile and grow, find hope and carry that feeling back into their communities.

ETM's mission and vision are both so very different from other music-based charitable organizations. This isn't about an after school band program or simply donating instruments. ETM is about bringing high-quality music education to EVERY child within a school. These kids don't just need music education - they deserve it. ETM's music programs offer students sustainable support that improves school attendance and performance, which ultimately, sets them up for future success.

As a father myself, nothing is more clear that the fact that all kids deserve to live happy, fulfilling lives. Ultimately, ETM's goal is to help make that happen for as many kids as possible. It has been an honor to watch ETM grow over the years and to be a small part of that success - to impact and be impacted by such a diverse, strong community.

With the amazing efforts from a broad spectrum of supporters, we are growing every day. However, there is always more work to be done and more kids to connect with and empower. To see how ETM has grown, even in just the short time I have been a board member, motivates me to do everything I possibly can to put ETM's mission into action and produce results. Knowing that ETM's administrative staff, the teachers, the board and our supports will continue to work tirelessly to expand the reach of ETM, and strive to uplift these children through music education, is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have proudly served on the board of Education Through Music for nearly five years and have enjoyed every minute of it! Its cause is one I deeply believe in, and I truly feel that ETM is one of the best champions for students in music education in underfunded public schools. It's been amazing to see ETM grow, both in reach and depth, during my time on the board. At the same time, ETM, never resting on its laurels, is continually exploring ways to grow and serve even more children and communities, through well-designed goals and prudent growth initiatives. It's been an honor to work with ETM and I look forward to my continued service!

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a new, small school with limited resources, we wanted to ensure that we were providing our students with a well rounded education which included arts education. To fulfill our expectations we partnered with Education Through Music (ETM). ETM provides our school and students with a certified Music Teacher who teaches general music instruction. The music instruction that our students receive prepares them to play an instrument in the upper grades, middle school, high school, and beyond. Each year through the direction of ETM, our students perform in a Winter & Spring Concert. Our staff receives professional development and we also have fall and spring Music Workshops for students and parents. We are also invited each year to attend ETM’s Music Festival where various student orchestras and concert bands from across the city perform. All these great things are possible because of our wonderful partnership with ETM! ETM had not only met our expectations, but they have exceeded them.
Maria Cioffi,
Principal
The Matilda Avenue School

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the Asssitant Principal at P.S. 76 and have worked with Education Through Music for the past five years. Our partnership with Education Through Music has not only provided our entire student population with formalized music instruction, but it has also offered various musical opportunities for our staff and students. Children have been given the opportunity to learn to play various instruments, participate in after school musical programs, perform in concerts and theatrical productions, and has helped to foster an appreciation for the arts. Education Through Music has supported P.S. 76 in our quest to provide our students with a well rounded education and has provided our staff and students with the resources necessary to build and sustain a formal music program. We appreciate the hard work and dedication that the staff at Education Through Music has shown to P.S. 76 and consider our partnership invaluable.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked with the senior leadership team of this excellent organization to help gain clarity and consistency around supervision and leadership practices. The commitment of these professionals, as well as their thoughtful approach to continue developing the organization and each other, is inspiring. If this is how hard they work together, one can only imagine the impact their work has on the lives of students and the ways in which they will continue to motivate youth to hear the music and make the music.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ETM is a great organization! They run a tight ship and make every decision with one clear goal in mind: to ensure that all students they serve have access to high quality music education that fosters academic and personal growth. As a former employee, I saw evidence of this every day I came to work!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a former employee of ETM, I can say the music education that the students receive is superior. The way the music program brings the schools and communities together is inspiring. The teachers and well designed program set students up for success both in music and in their other subjects. I am very proud to have been a part of ETM's work.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a principal who has partnered with ETM for three years and I plan to continue our partnership for many years to come. ETM provides our school with an excellent music teacher and a complete program of music curriculum, professional development, family workshops and two choral concerts each year. Our students benefit greatly from a rich program in music. Not only is music education valuable in itself, it also promotes higher-order thinking, discipline, and creativity that transfers to other subjects. It has been a pleasure to work with ETM administration and staff. This is a well-run organization that provides a high level of service.