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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. Reports are available at 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, ETM's partner school program provided music education to an estimated 27,000 economically disadvantaged students in 46 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 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

25 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.

Lisa599

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a member of the ETM Associates for the past 2 years and have been extremely impressed by the organization. The ETM Associates are a group of volunteers that are passionate about Education Through Music's mission and want to help build awareness of the organization among New York's young professionals.

I was originally drawn to ETM because of the organization's unique model—providing comprehensive and high-quality music education rather than just donating instruments like many other music ed organizations do. However, what kept me engaged was seeing how passionate its employees are and how hard they work to institute systemic and sustainable change in New York's schools. For all of these reasons, I would highly recommend getting involved with ETM—whether as a teacher, a volunteer, or a donor!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined ETM almost 3 years ago as part of the Associate Board group. I was looking for a nonprofit to work with that had a stellar reputation, a significant impact in the arts, and a team who was excited to work with each other, the Board, and their volunteers every day. Once I joined I immediately knew that was the case. What stands out to me is that the organization is hyper focused on their goal of bringing music education to NYC classrooms. ETM hires and trains high quality music educators -- the bar is high. The instruction itself is rigorous, and the results are both data-driven and qualitative. They have a unique model where they are very happy to leave a school, even if that "lowers" the number of schools they service in any given year, because that means the school has adopted the ETM program and teacher full-time. As a part of the associates group, we have had the chance to not only raise money but also raise awareness for this group which is otherwise under the radar and heads down on making their impact.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful experience volunteering for the children's benefit gala. The staff were knowledgeable and helpful, the mission was clearly communicated, and I could clearly understand what effect my donation of my time was having. I would highly recommend this experience to other volunteers and will continue to support ETM!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with ETM, I've only had positive experiences with other volunteers and the ETM staff. The events we organize are well supported by the community and it's nice to know that this organization is deeply invested in its mission to support music education for kids. The past 3 years have been great and I can't wait to continue to work with ETM in the future.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is extremely impressive that ETM's small staff and low administrative costs are able to bring music to so many kids, but what makes their work even more incredible is that by partnering with schools, each and every student participates daily, and for multiple years, which really makes a difference in applying what they learn in music to all subjects. I also love the way ETM works with the schools and the parents: ETM trains the teachers, brings in full music programs, and works with the parents to make sure they can afford the cost of renting instruments. In my opinion, Education Through Music is one of NYC's best non-profits -- not only for the education they bring to kids, but also for the way they run their program so efficiently.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a former teacher and current volunteer with ETM. I admire this organization for working with schools to bring high quality music programs to high needs students. These students deserve the chance to explore music and the arts, and you can see the benefits of this program both within individual students as well as the school as a whole.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm very proud to be able to work with Education Through Music. The staff's dedication and eye towards growth is evident in everything they do. I particularly respect the organization because of how well the mission is executed. Even though the operating costs are quite lean, the programs ETM puts into NYC public schools are robust and very hands on -- the schools ETM partners with receive everything from teachers to lesson plans to instruments, and every student in their schools receives music education. Indeed, the best way to tell that ETM programs have a meaningful impact is to hear from the students themselves. They are bright, engaged, and happy when they talk about how their music classes have changed them; ETM's mission is so important.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Music education helped shape who I am today and I am so grateful that there is a not-for-profit dedicated to this cause. With all of the turmoil and uncertainty with the state of music education, it is great to know that there are professionals working around the clock to make sure the cause is taken seriously. I had the pleasure of volunteering with the organization at their annual Gala, and it was such a meaningful and inspiring night for which to be a part. They made sure there were actual jobs for all of the volunteers which I especially appreciated. I hope to do more with them in future! Wonderful org with an important cause!

1 MaryLiu

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Learning the piano was instrumental to my life in terms of developing patience, creativity, and diligence, and Education Through Music allows me to give back what I was so generously given in my childhood. ETM provides an integral learning experience and creative outlet for children of under-served schools, potentially instilling a bedrock of values that learning music inspires, which is carried forward into adulthood. ETM opens up doors of learning that would otherwise not have been attainable for these children, and because of that, ETM is great in its work and mission.

Gina29

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Education Through Music is an exceptional organization! Through music education, students are able to develop and build on their language, listening, critical thinking, problem solving and math skills, as well as their self esteem. It also encourages their creativity, and stimulate their brain connection. For these reasons, ETM works hard to improve and keep music education in schools. Students in low income areas, who would otherwise not benefit from music instruction are building on these skills through music education because of Education Through Music Many. ETM is a constant support system for its teachers and, through workshops and training, providing them with the tools and strategies they need to be successful in the classroom, giving their students the skills they need for a successful future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This program really shows how music can transform a school community. The ETM teachers are knowledgeable and passionate about music. I saw this program implemented at a new middle school in the Bronx, and I was blown away by how well the students were performing AND behaving. Music has become a very important part of the school community. Thanks ETM!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ETM is a phenomenal organization! What a wonderful service they provide for inner city and underprivileged children in NYC. Everyone in the organization, from the on-site teachers and educators, to the off-site staff and administrators go above and beyond to help children every day. The organization does a fantastic job of tracking the impact of their services on the children, so you always know the services are having an impact. I cannot wait to continue to work with this truly life-changing organization!!

Farid R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Education through Music has been giving our students not only the opportunity to learn music as a discipline but to also develop High Order Thinking Skills. ETM's curriculum is aligned to the CCLS and to the content areas that students need to accomplish in order to become successful individuals.
Our students are motivated and enthusiastic about coming to our school to learn and explore a word that didn't exist for them prior to having ETM as part of our school community. ETM's commitment to offer unprivileged students the opportunity to learn through music has been a gift.

Kara S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Education Through Music is truly an exceptional and life changing non-profit organization. Education Through Music (ETM) provides a music education to students who might not otherwise receive one. ETM believes that all children deserve a well-rounded education, and I have seen first hand the benefits of the program at my school. Aside from deeply caring for their students' success, ETM provides their teachers all the professional support and resources needed to be successful in the classroom. Through ETM's thoughtful curriculum and teachers, students are not only equipped with musical knowledge, but are taught how to become creative problem solvers and independent thinkers, thus preparing them for a more successful future.

Erin37

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Education Through Music provides opportunities to 14,000 children in New York City who may never otherwise receive them. Seeing the difference that the music program provided by ETM has made for my students has been an inspiration. Not only are they learning music, but they are learning to be independent critical thinkers. ETM provides students with skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives and help them build successful futures.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was previously a staff member at ETM and have remained involved through volunteering with the organization. It is truly remarkable how the dedicated staff and music teachers of ETM bring music education to thousands of New York City children every week of the school year. ETM Music Teachers are trained at the highest level, and they bring the same standards to their music classrooms. The skills these music teachers offer extend way beyond the music classroom and I have heard story after story of students who are more excited, motivated, and interested in going to school because of the music program. I am proud to be involved with an organization that helps students become lifelong learners through music.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Education through Music is a great experience for students. The students does so much better in there study . My wish is for every students in N.Y.C. to experience this program .

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Our children loved the experience and gained self esteem and confidence through this program . Would loved to have this program in my school every year. Ms. Graves

Volunteer

Rating: 1

A bit disappointed to find out that only children that receive instruction privately from ETM are chosen to perform for their schools. Children who have outside instruction of musical instruments are not acknowledged for performance. So where is the love of music for the advancement of ALL children through music. Very unfortunate, many discouraged children are created through such practices.

Comments ( 1 )

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etmonline 04/04/2012

At ETM partner schools, in-school general music classes are provided to ALL students, and all students should be participating in partner school concerts. This is our core program, and we believe strongly that every child be involved. At some of our partner schools, we have collaborated with the principal to expand programming to include elective instrumental ensembles in addition to the general music; these additional programs include full ensemble rehearsals and group lessons, but ETM does not provide any private instruction. If the band or orchestra is putting on its own concert, then it would involve children who are in that ensemble. However, the winter and spring concerts should be including every child at the school. If you feel that this has not happened at your school, please feel free to contact me at 212-972-4788 or kdamkohler@ETMonline.org. –Katherine Damkohler, Executive Director, Education Through Music.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former staff member and current volunteer and donor, I have seen time and time again how Education Through Music impacts the lives of the children it serves. From holiday concerts to weekly music classes, students learn not only music, but how routine practice leads to improvement.