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ETM Expands to Serve 15 Schools in its 15th Year

As the fall of 2006 gets underway, ETM is working in 15 New York City schools serving over 7,000 students. ETM added four new partner schools this year: P.S. 38 and P.S. 155 in East Harlem, as well as St. Anthony School and St. Athanasius School in the Bronx. Together, these schools serve over 1,500 students. Every student at these new schools, and at all of ETM's partner schools, receives comprehensive and sequential music instruction at least once a week.

St. Anthony School, a parochial school on Mansion Street in the Bronx, serves over 200 students in grades K-8. St. Athanasius School, on Southern Boulevard, has a population of 380 students in grades preK-8. P.S. 38 and P.S. 155 each serve over 450 students in grades preK-5.

Students at each of ETM's new partner schools participate in general music education classes and study the recorder. In addition, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at St. Anthony School will study drums.

Teaching Artist Denise Lock reports, "Things are going very well" at P.S. 155 in East Harlem. One day recently Denise put quarter notes and eighth notes on the board before students in an English Language Learners class arrived (over 85% of the school's population is Hispanic and more than 40% of the children speak English as a second language). The kids responded to the notes on the board as soon as they came in. As Denise said, "Quite a lot of these students don't speak English. But they barely sat down and they were ta-ta-ing and ti-ti-ing their little hearts out!"

Nina Hendrick, Principal of P.S. 155, is enthusiastic about ETM's work so far in her school. She writes, "I am seeing a lot of positive things happening in the school because of ETM. I've seen teachers applying what they learned into their own lessons — and actively participating in the ETM classes. The students are having fun and look forward to ETM classes. I am very pleased with the program."

Jessica Parr, ETM's teaching artist at St. Athanasius School (as well as Blessed Sacrament School, an ETM partner school since 1996) says: "The first weeks at St. Athanasius are going great! Teachers keep stopping in and telling me their kids are so excited when it's music time. The kids are loving it and I'm having a great time."

ETM's expansion this fall was made possible in part by a grant from The New York State Music Fund. The Fund made 153 awards to organizations across the state during its first cycle of grant-making in July 2006. Established by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York as a result of a series of settlements with major record companies that had violated state and federal laws prohibiting "pay for play" (also called "payola"), the Fund aims to promote appreciation for and access to contemporary music in New York, as well as to help support community-based educational programs. The grant to ETM supports program expenses including teaching artist wages and new materials and supplies for use in partner school music classrooms.