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Empowering Teachers

2016-2017 Annual Report

Music Teacher Training

ETM delivered over 100 hours of ongoing training and professional development to music teachers (both those employed by ETM and those who have been hired by partner schools) through ETM Academy. Eight days of intensive workshops before the start of the school year strengthened music teachers’ knowledge of pedagogy and music methodologies and addressed ETM’s curriculum and approach to integration. Workshop topics included: classroom structure and management, lesson and unit planning, rubric and assessments, incorporating technology into instructions, and rehearsal strategies. Guest facilitators were brought in to offer expertise on areas, such as special needs instruction and diversity in schools, and training prepared teachers to serve at-risk populations and communities, addressing how to tailor instruction to an urban environment and making instruction more interactive for students. Twenty-four additional sessions were held from September through March, covering topics such as: ensemble instruction, SMART Board technology, and repertoire.

Each music teacher received ongoing mentoring from an ETM Music Teacher Mentor, through regular site visits, monthly observations, and informal and formal evaluations. Teachers also had access to ETM’s resource library and were encouraged to build a support network among each other. Music teachers responded positively to ETM’s training and support. One shared, “I found the respectful description of the characteristics of students with special needs very useful. The workshop made me realize ways to differentiate instruction, strategies to support and value these students, and how to employ hands-on activities and digital resources [within] special education instruction.”

Classroom Teacher Professional Development

ETM program staff provided professional development to the non-music classroom teachers at partner schools. At each new partner school, the Director of Programs delivered an introductory “Why Music?” session to build buy-in for the music program among school faculty. ETM’s Professional Development Specialist (PD) developed and strengthened classroom teacher PD content and activities and expanded workshop offerings compared to the prior year, based on feedback from principals and classroom teachers. Workshops were regularly tailored to complement partner schools’ educational priorities or initiatives. The Specialist used current educational trends and best practices to inform her design of PD. Sessions addressed topics such as “Story Soundtracks and Active Listening,” “Musical Mnemonics for Social Studies,” and “Improvisation to Unlock Creativity Across Curriculum.”

Classroom teachers enjoyed hands-on music-making activities and indicated that these activities were effective at conveying the importance of music education. For instance, after a “Music and Math” workshop at P.S. 75 in Brooklyn, one teacher shared, “I like that the workshop presented a way to think outside the box to engage students. I began to understand that you can use music to capture their attention—especially younger students.’” Another teacher from M.S. 529 in the Bronx commented, “I was completely engaged with the “Story & Soundtracks” session. I loved discovering how music can promote a deeper understanding of reading and writing among students, and I plan on using rhythm tracks from this session to help students improve their math fluency.”

Principal Guidance

Principals received one-on-one guidance on program management, assessment, budget planning, and identifying funding resources. ETM provided ongoing support to, and maintained communication with, principals during the school year. A group meeting was held in June, where principals reviewed successes and challenges, introduced ETM to potential new partners, and planned for the coming year.