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How Do You Find Your True Passion In Life?

Education Through Music has profiled former ETM student Crystal Santiago over the years and we are happy to bring you an update on how her access to music education at a young age continues to inspire her journey.


“I don’t think I would have discovered my true passion without Education Through Music,” says Crystal Santiago, who attended ETM partner school P.S. 76 in the Bronx, and then attended ETM partner school M.S. 180. Crystal is currently attending SUNY Purchase, pursuing a degree in Arts Management.

Crystal was introduced to music at P.S. 76, where she joined the band and began to play the clarinet. She credits her involvement in the music program with her good grades, because she had to do well in school to  participate in extra band activities. “It was amazing. My childhood was focused on the music program. It was a wonderful experience finding something that I was talented in,” says Crystal.

Music supports developing well-rounded students. “I think it’s very important to know about music,” says Crystal, “even if you aren’t going into a music profession. Music connects everybody.”

Two music teachers were very supportive of Crystal. She credits P.S. 76 music teacher Jessica Parr with making a big impact in her life. “There were times when I was doubtful of myself, and she would reassure me, give me advice and she was very supportive.” M.S. 180 music teacher Kevin Heathwood continued to support her through middle school. “He really pushed me to become a better student in music and academic classes.”

Crystal uses her musical skills in a unique way to help her succeed in college. “For myself, if I’m studying for something, I’ll sing it to help me remember stuff. It’s very easy for me to help remember music. Learning that way has helped me achieve higher test grades.”

The future is looking bright for Crystal, and she would like to run her own theater one day. “I want to be part of the arts community, I love talking about theater. You’re not really doing a job, because you’re doing something you love.”