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Announcing ETM's New Executive Director Joseph T. Amodeo

Q & A with ETM's New Executive Director


What brought you to Education Through Music?

Throughout my career, I have focused on working for greater equity in education. I believe that a well-rounded education is integral to a child’s development. In light of this, during my time at Quality Services for the Autism Community and PowerMyLearning, I worked to ensure that children from under-resourced schools had access to high quality academic programs. It’s for this reason, and my belief that music education is an important part of a comprehensive education, that Education Through Music’s mission appealed to me.

In my own life, I credit the arts and music education with having formed the person I am today. I believe that through a robust music education program, we can help students discover the same self-confidence and skills that I learned through my own experience.


Did you have music education growing up?

Yes, Ms. Patty Jarosak, my music teacher at Marlboro Elementary School, changed my life. As an elementary and middle school student, I participated in the choral arts in addition to musical theater. In fact, my Aunt Kathy ran a music and theater program that met after school that I was a part of for many years. It was in this program and music class that I developed a passion for music and the arts, greater self-confidence, and public speaking skills.


What is your vision for ETM?

I believe the success and impact of ETM’s model necessitate continued growth that brings our program to even more of New York City’s one million students. My vision for ETM is that we will continue to grow in a way that ensures that students of all abilities have access to the life-changing power of music education. By expanding our work to reach more of the City’s schools, we will be able to leverage music as a means for improving academic achievement, especially with regards to performance in math, science, and language arts. I’d also love to explore new and innovative ways for engaging parents and school communities, so as to further strengthen the link between home and school. Lastly, I believe it’s important for ETM to play an active role in local and national conversations related to educational equity and access to the arts. Looking forward, I envision a bold strategy to support expansion that seeks to increase awareness regarding our program while attracting new stakeholders to support our mission.


What would you like your legacy to be?

I know that the ETM program will continue to change the lives of the students we reach every day. I am confident that by leveraging our impact, we will have achieved greater awareness about ETM’s work and have expanded the number of supporters invested in our mission across the City. I hope that we will be able to look back in ten or twenty years and observe an organization that has grown to reach the majority of the City’s school children. I also hope that our work will help to ensure that music education becomes not only a part of a comprehensive education, but in many ways the basis of such an education. Music is life — it possesses the keys to unlock learning and it inspires young people to reach for the brightest and boldest ideas.


Outside of work, what are you passionate about?

Outside of work, I’m a voracious reader. I enjoy both fiction and nonfiction. In addition to reading, my family is deeply passionate about and involved in the arts. We frequent the theater, opera, concerts, and other art venues throughout the City and across the country. I also love spending time in the kitchen (typically with Vivaldi, Biber, or an opera on in the background) where I enjoy cooking and baking.

I am deeply passionate about making a difference in my community. Whether through volunteering, giving, or board service, I feel strongly that it’s up to all of us to help address the needs of this great City.