2015-2016 Annual Report
NEW SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS
Through ETM’s partnerships, nearly 27,000 students received music as a core subject and had multiple opportunities to perform. Instruction was provided by approximately 40 ETM-employed music teachers and 20 school-employed music teachers. In September, ETM significantly expanded its partner school program to reach an additional 7,000 students, including launching new partnerships with 16 schools. The majority of partnerships were still in the Bronx, but we increased our presence in Queens and began our first program in Staten Island. For the first time, ETM’s partner school program served students in all five boroughs of New York City.
New partner schools for 2015–16:
- Bronx: P.S. 8, P.S. 64, P.S. 96, I.S. 181, P.S./M.S. 194, P.S. 195, P.S. 277, M.S. 355, P.S. 481, P.S. 483, P.S. 567, and St. John’s School
- Queens: P.S. 110 and P.S. 213
- Brooklyn: P.S. 75
- Staten Island: P.S. 39
INSTRUCTION AND CURRICULUM
Instruction continued to follow ETM’s grade-level music curriculum. We implemented a revised curriculum for grades 6–8 that involved more interactive and immersive learning experiences across a variety of musical genres and instruments. Music teachers assessed students via performances, quizzes, portfolios, and homework. In addition, ETM’s grade-level general music skills assessments were conducted during May and June. Beyond teaching students musical skills and knowledge, music teachers used music to support learning in other area like science, math and ELA.
Elective choral programs were offered at 32 partner schools, before, during, or after school, where over 850 students were encouraged to improve their listening skills, learn stage presence, and develop their voices.
We expanded instrumental programs to nine string orchestras and 14 bands (one school had both) to engage over 1,200 students in more advanced instrumental instruction and performance. Two Music Teacher Mentors/Field Supervisors with expertise in ensembles were dedicated to mentoring ensemble teachers.
At each partner school with an instrumental program, all interested students in grades 4–8 were invited to participate; they attended two to three full ensemble rehearsals per week in addition to weekly group lessons. Each student rented or borrowed an instrument for the year, with ETM providing financial aid so that all interested students could participate. Most ensemble students made their debut performances at “Breakfast with the Band/Orchestra” events in January and February, and some advanced ensembles performed at community events. In June, ensemble students participated in the annual “ETM Festival” at Lehman College’s Center for Performing Arts. Several schools also created small after-school groups such as chamber orchestra, jazz band, guitar, and drama club.
Band and string orchestra students developed their musical proficiency and improved their responsibility and teamwork skills. ETM’s ensemble programs have become increasingly popular among principals, students, and parents.
PERFORMANCE AND ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Partner schools hosted winter concerts in December and January and spring concerts in April, May, and June. Every partner school student performed in these school-wide concerts, which allowed them to present their new skills and progress to peers, parents, local government representatives, and their wider school communities. In the winter, “Breakfast with the Band/Orchestra” events highlighted students in their first year of ensemble participation. Such events help bolster school pride and visibility.
Groups of partner school students also performed at special events around their communities, helping schools to increase their visibility and to engage more deeply with parents and community members. In October, for example, middle school students from M.S. 566 in the Bronx wrote an original song, “Everybody’s Perfect,” under the guidance of Grammy Award-winning songwriter Liz Rose. Students then performed the song at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s annual gala. Students from other partner schools had experiences including attending a concert at Carnegie Hall, ringing the NASDAQ opening bell and performing in the studio, and hearing a performance by the Israeli Chamber Project and speaking with the musicians.
ETM also continued its longstanding relationship with the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, which provided scholarships to 16 enthusiastic students from ETM partner schools to attend the center’s summer day camp in Long Island.