Voices from our Junior Development Board - Matt Alioto
Over the summer we spoke with Matt Alioto, a member of our Junior Development Board who has been instrumental in building awareness of ETM and fostering organizational partnerships, such as our recent collaboration with REVERB at Citi Field. Matt’s passion for music began in public school, an experience he believes all students should have, no matter who they are or where they come from. Matt shared with us a bit about his background and motivation to support our work.
Tell me about yourself. How did you get involved with Education Through Music?
I was born and raised in Brooklyn and got involved with the music industry in 2014. I also used to play in a pop-punk band and would manage the band. I started my career at Warner Music Group, where I worked on the college marketing team. From there I worked at Artists Den Entertainment, The Coda Collection, and now I am the Director of Content and SMM at Social Chain.
I found out about ETM at a time when I wanted to get more involved in expanding my network and give back to the community. Of all things, I googled “music nonprofit new york” and explored which organizations had development boards or community boards. Education Through Music seemed really interesting so I reached out and was excited by the prospect of supporting and joining.
Why did you get involved? What interested you about ETM?
I am really invested in giving back, promoting the arts, and ensuring that it survives. I am also motivated by memories of my arts teachers growing up, always saying every year that they don’t know if that program will be funded again for the following year, whether it was music or film or acting.
It’s so necessary to have a well-rounded education and to have those opportunities in school to find your passion. As you know, music is so vital to understanding and processing the world. It lets you be creative, which is so necessary for personal development. So I’ve always been a big advocate for music to get proper funding.
In terms of ETM, the mission statement resonated with me so much. I went to public school growing up and am so grateful to have been at a school that had a music department. I had the opportunity to join the school band or take classes to learn theory, or play the recorder. I would have never fostered that level of passion for music if it hadn’t been for those classes in school.
What’s been your role on the Development Board? I know you helped establish a partnership with REVERB. Can you tell me more about how that formed and other initiatives that you’re interested in pursuing?
My time on the Development Board is approaching a year now, and I have been interested in attracting a younger audience to support ETM, especially those who are artists themselves.
One aspect that I have experience with and am interested in developing further is our outreach to college campuses. I believe it’s a huge and untapped market, especially with so many communities such as fraternities and sororities who regularly host fundraising and volunteer events.
In terms of REVERB, I am connected with a lot of people in the music industry, one of whom works for Activist Artists Management. They let me know about how Dead & Company is going on tour and hosts what they called Participation Row, which is where local nonprofits table at their concerts and share with audiences their work and encourage involvement. It seemed like a natural fit, and sure enough, they were interested in having ETM join for their concerts at Citi Field. From what I hear, it was great opportunity and went well!
How would you like to see ETM evolve in the future?
In addition to some of the opportunities I mentioned before, in general, I would love to get to the point where every school that is looking to include music education in their curriculum can do so. I’d also like to see all of the teachers that we’re staffing get sustainable, long-term educator roles.
ETM’s mission is so strong and produces such a powerful reaction, especially among people who can recall their experiences in music class and how instrumental it was, that I’d like to see more people know about ETM and get involved. I know that the people who experience music don’t want it go away, but may not realize that they can give back and ensure that music stays in our schools.
In particular, I think it’s so important to shine a light on the schools and kids who need music the most because it provides them a creative outlet that is so important for personal development.
Do you have calls to action that you want to encourage our audiences of educators, schools, and supporters to take?
I believe it is important to not lose sight of the end goal and why we’re doing this. Music is fun! Music is something that is so enjoyable and enriching, and everyone should have access to it. There should be nothing that stops someone who wants to learn and grow through music, regardless of who you are or where you come from. Students need to have a creative outlet, and if there is a nonprofit like ETM that is helping kids receive that access and have those experiences, then everyone who believes in the importance of music should get on board! What can we do to give these students the best experiences of their life and ensure they experience everything that music has to offer?
Learn more about Development Board here! Interest in getting involved? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.