Entering our 20th Anniversary year, ETM has expanded yet again to offer more musical opportunities to more children in New York City. This year, ETM is serving 13,000 children, the largest number in our history, expanding our middle school program, and developing a wider range of musical offerings within our curriculum. These developments illustrate our growth and continued commitment to the longevity of music education for New York City children.
ETM proudly welcomes four new partner schools this fall: P.S. 48, P.S. 72, M.S. 424 and P.S. 498. All four schools are located in the Bronx, and two of the four (P.S. 48 and M.S. 424) are in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, one of the lowest-income neighborhoods in New York City. We remain steadfast in our commitment to bringing music education to children in disadvantaged communities, and these new partnerships clearly reflect that mission.
The teachers, students, and principals at these new partner schools have embraced ETM’s musical program as an asset that enriches the students’ academic experience. ETM believes that a strong relationship between classroom and music teachers is vital to the integration of music education into students’ everyday curriculum and the long-term success of the overall program. Kaitlyn Hanna, an ETM Music Teacher working at P.S. 72, reported, “The staff is so supportive of the music program, and is genuinely dedicated to the development of the students. My colleagues at P.S. 72 make teaching every day exciting.”
Moreover, the students themselves seem inspired by their new music classes. Barbara Vultaggio, an ETM Music Teacher at P.S. 48, shared, “The most exciting thing about teaching is the incredible enthusiasm that the students bring to my class. I love the way they come in smiling every day, ready to start a new musical journey with me.” ETM ensures that every student at our partner schools has access to this stimulating and comprehensive music education.
ETM works to develop strong relationships with the principals at our partner schools, and uses their feedback to tailor a music program designed to fit their schools’ needs. Principal Roxanne Cardona of P.S. 48 wrote of her experience with ETM’s new program thus far, “Love it, love it, love it. There is singing in my halls when Ms. Vultaggio greets her class, guitar in hand. Ms. DiFilippi gets her classes up and moving, clapping, singing and chanting. They have turned our school into one big concert!”
ETM has also extended our vibrant music education program to a second public middle school this year. Based on last year’s successful pilot partnership with M.S. 180, ETM has added M.S. 424 to our roster of middle schools served. ETM hopes that these schools will create more options for fifth-graders graduating from ETM partner elementary schools, and provide music education to a wider population of students.
ETM’s music programs aim to motivate students and increase their investment in school activities. According to Carol Ann Gilligan, Principal of P.S. 498, ETM’s programs have done just that. She expressed, “The staff and I are so pleased with the program and with our teacher, Ms. Phillips. She is a dynamo of energy and the children truly look forward to Music Mondays.” ETM’s expansion in the Bronx is supported in part by grants from the New York Community Trust and the Emily Davie and Joseph S. Kornfeld Foundation.
In addition to increasing the number of children served and expanding to middle schools, this year ETM offers more band and string orchestra programs. These programs are “co-curricular” activities, meaning that they occur both in-school and after-school. These elective programs allow students to explore more deeply their passion for music and promote the values of hard work and perseverance. This year, three schools have added a band program, and one school has instituted an after-school trumpet ensemble. Four of our schools now offer string orchestra programs, and after-school chorus activities are expanding as well. These elective ensemble programs represent an enhancement to programming, and are offered in addition to the core general music programs, which continue to serve every student in each partner school.
The 20th Anniversary year marks an exciting moment of expansion for ETM in all facets of our program, and we thank you for your support of our initiatives.