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ETM Kicks Off the New School Year with 8 Days of Teaching Artist Training

While the start of the new school year was still far away from the thoughts of most children, Education Through Music staff and teaching artists were hard at work in August to prepare for the coming months. ETM Director of Programs Stephen Herx and Field Supervisors Chris Marolf and Leah Potteiger led newly hired and returning teaching artists in two rounds of training for a total of eight days. During this time, teaching artists learned how best to carry out ETM's mission of providing a quality music education to New York City inner-city schools and finding ways to use music as a tool to support other academic subjects.
New Hire Training took place at the end of August in downtown Manhattan, at the offices of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, thanks to the generosity of ETM Chairman of the Board Edmund Schroeder. Topics addressed during the five days ranged from integrating music with other academic subjects to maintaining discipline in the classroom, with a host of entertaining and educational activities thrown into the mix. Highlights of the week included a presentation on teaching instrument families by former ETM Teaching Artist and Program Coordinator Richard Mannoia, a presentation by long-time public school teacher Elaine Gates, hearing returning teaching artists share stories about dealing with different school situations, and of course, seeing new teaching artists try out different songs and activities that they can use in the classroom – including a noteworthy performance by three teaching artists of "An Austrian Went Yodeling."
Ten new teaching artists attended the August training, as well as three former interns who worked alongside ETM teaching artists last year. Also present were musicians and representatives from the Stamford Symphony, who came as part of ETM's continuing relationship with the Symphony to assist in preparing their artists for outreach work with students.
Less than two weeks later, just before the first days of school, all teaching artists and interns gathered for three days to participate in the ninth annual Teaching Artist Academy, hosted by former ETM Board member Talia Griep at The McGraw-Hill Companies.
In addition to materials for classroom use, all teaching artists received a binder complete with useful information and a collection of songs, to aid in lesson preparation and repertoire selection. Workshop facilitators included Sean Hartley, Peggy Bennett and Iris Marrus, who made wonderful presentations entitled "Dalcroze Ideas for the Elementary Classroom," "Early Age Music Activities," and "Utilizing Orff Instruments in the Classroom," respectively. In addition, Teaching Artists Jennifer Greene and Racquel Borromeo, Department of Education music teacher and former Teaching Artist Jessica Parr, and Field Supervisors Chris Marolf and Leah Potteiger, led keyboard, recorder, and string workshops, and Teaching Artist Joshua Fleischmann led his colleagues in a drumline exercise.
Both training sessions met with praise from the participants. One new teaching artist said, "This week was wonderful! It has supplied me with many new ideas that I will be able to use this year and for many years to come." Another teaching artist wrote, "Dr. Peggy Bennett's ideas/methodology/songs are all things I will be implementing in some way over the school year. VERY informative and relevant material! Her delivery is also to be admired and emulated!" ETM videotaped several sessions, for the benefit of future teaching artists or those wishing to review topics.
ETM will be providing approximately 18 more hours of training workshops throughout the school year. In addition, Mr. Herx, Mr. Marolf, and Ms. Potteiger will observe and evaluate teaching artists in the classroom, and provide mentoring, so that every teaching artist will have the support to realize ETM's mission and goals.
For the third year in a row, ETM's training model was replicated in California. In August, Mr. Herx assisted both ETM-LA, an affiliate organization located in Los Angeles, and the Dominican Schools Music Project, a project with seven Bay Area schools on which ETM consults, in implementing multi-day training based on ETM's New Hire Training and Teaching Artist Academy.
ETM's New York City training was made possible in part by grants from the Dana Foundation and the New York State Music Fund.