At the end of August, ETM held its annual ETM Academy to prepare music teachers for the new school year. The full-day workshops, designed by Director of Programs Pete Pauliks and the program staff, explored topics including strategies for short- and long-term student assessment and effective ways to engage school and community support for music programs.
In preparation for the new school year, ETM had updated its teacher resource materials to incorporate the Common Core Standards, a new framework of learning standards adopted by most states that defines the knowledge and skills expected of all K-12 students. ETM Professional Development and Consulting Specialist Chris Marolf led a workshop for the teachers to review the new materials. Music teachers were provided additional materials to help guide them in organizing effective lesson plans and in keeping on track with those plans throughout the school year.
Workshops on effective structure in the classroom and choral strategies were especially well-received. One teacher shared, “Going over new music is the most valuable part of the day. The step-by-step process of how to teach it helps a lot.”
Before heading off to the first day of school, teachers discussed how to further develop programs by boosting parent and school enthusiasm and support. ETM Academy provided a collaborative environment where teachers could ask questions and receive feedback from program staff and from their fellow music teachers. One teacher commented, “It feels great to be in a community of music teachers so excited about music education.” ETM provided additional training through Wednesday evening workshops in September and October and has also scheduled workshops for later during the school year. Ongoing support includes regular site visits by program staff to observe music teachers in the classroom and provide feedback and mentoring.
Those in attendance at ETM Academy this year included not only ETM’s music teachers, but also music teachers from ETM-LA, from the ICAN schools, and Oberlin College Professor of Music Education Peggy Bennett who served as a facilitator. By involving the teachers from Los Angeles and Cleveland alongside our New York City teachers, ETM sought to showcase our core program as an example, and also to foster communication among the music teachers, so they can feel a part of a larger initiative as they each work to implement ETM’s model in their own school setting.