On Saturday, September 30, over 50 teachers, principals, and guests gathered at ETM partner school P.S. 76 in the Bronx for ETM's annual "Teachers Institute." Open to participants from all ETM partner schools, the Institute aims to introduce classroom teachers and other school personnel to the work ETM's teaching artists are doing with their students during music class every week and to encourage classroom teachers to collaborate with ETM's teaching artists for more effective integration of music and other academic disciplines.
After an introduction by Director of Programs Stephen Herx, all participants attended two workshops. The first set of sessions provided an overview of general music for each grade level. Mr. Herx, Field Supervisor Chris Marolf, and several ETM teaching artists guided classroom teachers through some basic musical concepts and suggested ways to integrate music into their own classroom curricula.
For the latter half of the morning, most teachers split into smaller groups to learn chorus, violin, recorder or drums — some of the disciplines that their children study. Other teachers attended a session run by long-time ETM Teaching Artist Shanna Lesniak-Whitney on music and literacy for young elementary students.
Teachers then gathered together to present a short concert. Conducted by ETM Teaching Artist Jennifer Greene and accompanied by Teaching Artist Eleanor Miller, brave chorus members sang Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" and George Gershwin's "I've Got Rhythm." Under the tutelage of Mr. Marolf, freshly-minted violinists played a selection for the crowd; after studying with Teaching Artist Dan Blankinship, several teachers performed "Hot Cross Buns" on the recorder; and perhaps most well-received was the drum performance conducted by Teaching Artist Kim Garey, with the help of Mr. Herx.
Teachers provided positive feedback on the day. One wrote, "[The workshops were] excellent and interesting. I would love to attend more like this to get more ideas." Another wrote, "I think Education Through Music is a wonderful addition to the curriculum."
ETM thanks Teaching Artists Dan Blankinship, Kim Garey, Jennifer Greene, Shanna Lesniak-Whitney, Denise Lock and Eleanor Miller for facilitating the workshops; Principal Louise Sedotto and Maria Cioffi from P.S. 76 for hosting and helping to plan this event; and all of the attendees for giving up their Saturday on a three-day weekend.