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ETM eCademy and the Search for the Stones of Knowledge

By ETM Creative Marketing Associate Daniel Rader

Every August, ETM music teachers from across the five boroughs come together to participate in professional development, also known as ETM Academy.

ETM Academy prepares teachers to be inspired and effective music teachers by offering practical strategies and teaching resources. It’s an excellent opportunity for teachers to connect with fellow teachers, build their professional network, and prepare for the start of the school year.


Academy becomes eCademy

This year, however, ETM Academy will be entirely virtual due to COVID-19. eCademy, as we’re calling it, will be tackling new topics that address the unique challenges of teaching during a pandemic.  

New sessions have been created on topics such as digital citizenship, trauma-informed teaching, editing tools, and virtual ensembles, topics that might not have been considered before. Our Programs team has stepped up in all aspects of training: they not only created every session from scratch but are also leading them.*

“Because we are presenting live webinars on Zoom, we have to ensure that the visuals, scripts, and pacing for each presentation are engaging, clear, concise, and relevant to what our music teachers will need,” said Director of Programs Anwar Robinson.

“We have included more resources on social justice, social-emotional learning, and curriculum planning, and have prioritized letting teachers have more collaborative ways of engaging and learning from each other,” said Instructional Supervisor Ulises Solano.


It’s a game

Since this school year is already full of challenges for our teachers, Instructional Supervisor Andrea Davis gamified this year’s eCademy. Gamification applies video game design and game elements in learning environments and has become a popular teaching tool. By gamifying eCademy, ETM is making learning more fun for our music teachers, and teaching an engagement strategy teachers might use when teaching remotely.

There are so many unknowns, even now, and we’re sure many of our teachers feel anxious, nervous, etc. So we wanted something that would get them excited for eCademy and the upcoming school year,” said Davis.

“Gamification is a great tool that our teachers can use in a culturally responsive practice, but they are probably not very familiar with it. By gamifying eCademy, we’re modeling how a gamified project can look and function, especially in a distance learning setting,” added Davis.

This year’s eCademy runs August 24-26, 31, and September 1


*All sessions have been created by and are led by ETM Programs’ staff members, except for one, Decolonizing the Music Classroom, led by Brandi Waller-Pace.

Instructional Supervisor Andrea Davis put together a fun presentation for teachers that introduced some of the eCademy characters! These two slides from her presentation introduce the goals and lay out the path to earning an Amulet of Education!