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Connecting with ETM Alumni Chair, Tom Carroll

We’re excited to feature Tom Carroll, ETM Alumni Chair, who after starting his teaching career with ETM, has since launched and developed several successful music programs across NYC. Tom talks with us about how he got involved with Education Through Music, what he loves most about the profession, and the impact ETM has had on his career.


Tell us your story, how you came to ETM, and your current involvement with us.

I grew up on Long Island and went to Hofstra University for music education. The day I graduated I looked for job opportunities and ETM was the first thing I saw. I was so inspired by their work and I was hoping to get to work with them! With their help, I had the opportunity to launch and develop 3 music programs across the city from K-12. Developing a program from scratch can be a challenge, but ETM was always there to support me. I currently serve as the Alumni Chairperson  and I am super excited to develop this amazing network of awesome teachers!

What is your current position and what do you love most about teaching music? 

I am currently in my second year as a 6-12 musical theatre director at the Queens School of Inquiry. It has been my responsibility to develop another program with many students who I worked with as elementary students! The thing I love most about teaching music is to get to witness day after day the transformative power of music. I love that I get to create opportunities for children that will have an impact on them and their community. It is so incredible to teach these kids to believe in themselves and watch how proud they are after performances. Teaching music is truly a gift.

What skills or experiences did you gain at ETM that you found most useful and helpful in your career as a music educator?

The thing that I found most useful was building a community of educators. It can be lonely out there as a music and arts teacher in schools. You are often the only one in the school. Knowing there were others out there like me who had similar experiences made the job much less lonely. I could rely on my network to give me advice, lesson ideas, and support as I took on some major projects! It is always such a joy to see them at professional development or collaborating with them on projects! Shout out to Leah Hanley, an ETM legend, who came to play strings in our pit orchestra for our winter production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown!” I am truly grateful for my ETM crew out there for doing the great work they do and the long lasting friendships I have made!


Central to our model is establishing career pathways in the field of music education. Our aim is for ETM Teachers to be hired by the NYC Department of Education – and they are! Click below for more inspiring ETM stories and learn about our truly unique model of music education.