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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

4 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.


Rating: 5

I have supported ETM and its mission for many years. It is wonderful to see how the organization has grown and continues to bring quality music education to many NYC schools.
Best of all is visiting a school and see and hear the excitement children show in their music classes. That spirit permeates the whole school environment.
I look forward to my next visit!



Rating: 5

I am passionate about keeping music and the arts in our schools. The positive effects of bringing music to our children and exposing them to the enjoyment of learning how to play and being part of a band are life-long learning experiences. The staff of ETM do an excellent job of providing that experience. They involve the schools and the children by getting their commitment to the music program. You can see the effects by the comments from the parents on the changes in their children which goes beyond the music itself. It gives the students confidence and helps them in their other studies. I am proud to support ETM.

Previous Stories


Rating: 5

Last year, I saw a performance of students at a school in the Bronx. They performed for Joshua Bell. It was an experience I will never forget watching those students play their hearts out for Mr. Bell. They played beautifully and it brought tears to my eyes. No where else would these children had the opportunity to learn and play. I'm sure it's a memory they will never, never forget. I know I won't.

I continue to support this organization and am glad that there are people and organizations who understand the importance of the arts in children's lives and bring opportunities to experience music to schools where music, dance and art programs are cut from the curriculum.


Rating: 5

It has been a great pleasure to make gifts to this organization for many years. Board members and staff are so devoted to their mission, and their passion is contagious. Knowing the wonderful impact they have on the children in their programs is so heartwarming.