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Student Success

2015-2016 Annual Report

Students in schools that receive the ETM program perform better academically then students in schools with similar demographics that do not receive the ETM program. Students’ participation in ETM music class and school performances contributes to creativity as well as to social and emotional capacities. The program encourages students’ motivation for school in general.


  • ETM positively impacts students’ achievement: 84% of ETM students reported on surveys that music class improved their focus; 76% of middle school students said that music increased their desire to go to school; upwards of 96% of non-music teachers believed ETM enhanced students’ math, literacy, and critical thinking skills.


  • The ETM program promoted stronger relationships between schools and parents and supported community engagement in schools. 69% of non-music teachers reported that the ETM program facilitated greater contact with their students’ parents and 62% of teachers observed a more active community discourse about education stemming from ETM’s program. Furthermore, 64% of ETM parents reported that they have been more involved in the school community since their children started ETM music classes.


  • ETM supports students’ social and emotional development. All surveyed non-music teachers believed that the ETM music program positively impacts students’ attitude, creativity, effort, self-esteem, and cooperation with peers.


  • The ETM program bolstered student interest in the arts, as 74% of students said they liked art more as a result of music class. Furthermore, 70% of parents reported that their children have developed an interest in pursuing music outside of school.


  • Partner school personnel and leadership highly rated the program overall: 97% of principals and 98% of non-music teachers evaluated the ETM program positively.


Student Stories

Learn about how our program has helped students master skills and gain self-confidence in school and in life.

English Language Learner

For Amir*, an English Language Learner, language often acted as a barrier at school. He often seemed sad and withdrawn because of his inability to fully express himself in English. One day this fall, Amir silently walked over to his ETM music teacher and started to play a drum. She joined him and played on another drum. “His face was full of excitement,” she explained, “and you could tell he was finally happy! We communicated through high-fives and smiles while he continued to have a great time playing his drum.”

Amir has since participated in every activity in music class with a huge smile across his face. His teacher remarked, “I might not be able to understand his native language, but I am able to see that music has made a true impact on his life—one that needs no language to explain.” He now displays more confidence in himself and is making strides towards mastering English. Amir is overcoming his language hurdles one drum beat at a time.

* This student’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.

Overcoming Personal Loss

Kendrick* is in foster care and was recently separated from his brother when the two were placed with different families. Kendrick frequently talks about how much his misses his brother. Kendrick is often very distracted and needs to be constantly redirected to his school work—except during music class. His ETM music teacher said that Kendrick is, “most responsive in music class,” where “he is just as focused as his peers.”

One day this winter, his teacher was introducing body percussion and steady beats to students. Kendrick was so enthusiastic and inspired by the lesson that he helped create a game based on the lesson. After the game was created, his teacher asked the class to name the game. Kendrick—bursting with inspiration and excitement—said, “We should call it Get with the Beat!” Music is encouraging Kendrick to apply himself in school and giving him the strength and motivation to overcome his personal loss. His teacher shared, “I am happy that I could bring something as positive as music into his life. It is moments like these that remind me why I became a teacher.”

* This student’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.

Boosting Self-Esteem

For Huey*, a bright fifth grader at an ETM partner school in the Bronx, socializing at school was a challenge. He often misinterpreted his classmates’ actions and created conflicts. He was lonely and longed to make friends. Huey’s music teacher recognized that he had a passion for music, and believed music could help Huey channel the intensity of his emotions in a positive direction. This fall, Huey picked up the cello, and it has not left his side since. After three short months in his school’s orchestra, Huey is growing to understand social cues and is making friends. His music teacher explained, “Succeeding at the cello has given Huey confidence and greatly boosted his self-esteem.” Now Huey is a valuable asset and friendly resource to his peers; he offers them strategies on how to succeed in rehearsals and livens up practice with jokes and laughter. Music is providing Huey with a constructive outlet for his emotions, transforming the way he relates to the world around him and helping him bring positivity to his surroundings.

* This student’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.