Welcome to Mr. Martinez's Neighborhood!
By ETM Marketing and Communications Associate Jennifer Williams
When you think of great educational TV, a few shows come to mind instantly. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Sesame Street, Barney & Friends. These shows cemented themselves as leaders in children’s television, bringing educational programming to our screens at home, and generating smiles on faces across the world through song and dance.
When Education Through Music transitioned to distance learning in March, a new TV star was born! David Martinez, an ETM teacher since 2018, immediately started to think about how he could bring the energy of music class into his students’ homes through video. David was inspired to create a series of educational programming for his students that was varied and exciting, all while showcasing his personality and bringing the fun back into his students’ lives during this difficult time.
Through his YouTube channel, children of all ages have access to a variety of fun musical content, often delivered with the help of David’s own daughter. The video series includes 30-minute lessons for kindergarten students; instructional videos for creating homemade instruments; and even a basketball challenge designed to get students outside and learning about different rhythms. He even gave students a look at what life would look like if music class was taught by a bird!
He also brings bilingual programming to students, singing and dancing in Spanish.
ETM Instructional Supervisor Joe Fusca shared, “David is a remarkable teacher. He is always learning new methods, reworking old ones, and thinking of ways to engage students more effectively. His commitment to his work, his school, and his students can be seen in everything he does.”
“Music has the power to transform an environment, to paint a gray landscape full of colors, and to draw a big smile on a child’s face,” David shared. “Facing these new challenges, we must reinvent ourselves. Each day we find new ways to deliver the treasure of music by taking down obstacles. Through the superpower of teaching and the passion for music, we will continue to discover new ways to overcome the current crisis.”