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"My life story has been completely changed because of Education Through Music"

"My life story has been completely changed because of Education Through Music"

by ETM Staff

“My name is Brandon Brown, and I’m a graduate of an Education Through Music partner school.

“My story began in the 6th grade when ETM founded a music program in my middle school. I signed up for strings thinking that I would learn guitar and become a rock star. When I found out I was really going to learn how to play violin, I spent five months hating it.

“I hated it until Joshua Bell came to visit my school and demonstrated exactly what a rock star looks like on a violin. That visit changed the trajectory of my life. As he played, I found myself stuck to my seat. I was inspired in a way I had never been inspired before. I was so moved I went home and practiced for three hours a day, every day, for the next three years. With the encouragement and instruction from my music teacher, I eventually found my way into the Music Advancement Program at Juilliard, and later expanded my study into voice, composition, and music production at Harlem School for the Arts. My continued music education eventually earned me a place on Season 13 of The Voice. Today, I am continuing to pursue a career in music.

“My life story has been completely changed because of Education Through Music. School was a struggle for me. I always had trouble applying myself and focusing…, but the orchestra at M.S. 180 was the first place where I felt I belonged. My orchestra teacher opened my eyes to a new world and gave me a passion and a purpose. Music gave me something I could look forward to when coming to school. For the first time in my life I felt unique and special.

“ETM has truly changed my life forever… by providing me with inspiration from Joshua Bell, by providing me a teacher who could take that inspiration and mold it into discipline and skill, and by providing me with an outlet to express my passion and ability.

“But I am not the only one whose life was changed. In my school alone, our graduates include students who have gone on to study music…, students who are pursing IT, literature, law, or medicine… Those who are no longer formally studying music have an appreciation and love for music that will never disappear. The lessons we learned in the music classroom stick with us forever, even when we choose to focus on other pursuits.

“I would not have made it to where I am today without [ETM] and… the instruction, inspiration, and passion that started me on my journey.”