For a total of eight days in late August and early September, ETM's Director of Programs Stephen Herx and Field Supervisor Chris Marolf conducted two intense rounds of training for ETM's teaching artists. These sessions focused on preparing the teaching artists to effectively carry out ETM's mission of providing quality music education to children at inner-city schools throughout New York City.
New Hire Training took place at conference space in the offices of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in downtown Manhattan, through the generosity of ETM Chairman of the Board Edmund Schroeder. The five days of training addressed topics ranging from integrating music with other academic subjects to maintaining discipline in the classroom. Highlights included the introduction of ETM's curriculum, a presentation on teaching instrument families by former ETM Teaching Artist and Program Coordinator Richard Mannoia, a question-and-answer session with experienced teaching artists, and a discussion about planning for the first days of school. Participants also created and presented their own lesson plans, implementing techniques learned in training.
Each new teaching artist came away with a binder full of useful information that will guide them through the year.
Three new teaching artists from the Bay Area Dominican Schools Music Project (DSMP) also attended the August training, along with DSMP Program Director Marcia Martinez. Based on ETM's model and advised by ETM, DSMP just began its second year of implementation in seven California Bay Area schools (See article on page 3 for information on the DSMP Summer Teachers Institute).
During the first week in September, all of ETM's 2006-07 teaching artists and several partner-school music teachers came together for the three-day Annual Teaching Artist Academy, now in its eighth year. Thanks to ETM Board Member Talia Griep, ETM conducted this training at the office of the McGraw-Hill Companies.
As with New Hire Training, the Teaching Artist Academy addressed a wide array of topics. Facilitators included ETM teaching artists as well as outside experts Shelley Freydont, a dancer and choreographer who worked for several years with the acclaimed American Ballroom Theater, and Elaine Gates, a retired public school teacher with over 40 years of classroom experience and the former director of music education at New York University, where she now directs the children's chorus. Ms. Freydont and Ms. Gates focused respectively on choreography and movement, and games and activities for the classroom. Long-time Teaching Artist Jennifer Greene led a presentation on school concerts, and Teaching Artist Sharon Kim shared some of her favorite classroom team-building activities.
New to this year's Academy were more hands-on activities, such as workshops on Orff instruments, keyboard, strings, recorder, guitar and drums. Teaching artists often played the role of the children they are now teaching — learning, just as children do, by doing.
Teaching artists expressed enthusiasm for both training sessions. As one wrote after the August training, "This is a really amazing program. It blew my mind how much I learned."
ETM videotaped both training sessions so that teaching artists and others can view them in the future.
ETM will provide approximately 18 more hours of training for its teaching artists throughout the school year. In addition, Mr. Herx and Mr. Marolf will observe and evaluate teaching artists in their classes throughout the year and provide support and mentoring to help each teaching artist work ever more effectively in realizing ETM's goals.
ETM's training is funded in part by grants from the Dana Foundation and the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation.