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The Joy of Teaching

The Joy of Teaching

ETM Music Teacher Arielle Lewis gets a lot of joy from her work at P.S. 55 in the Bronx.

“The best part about teaching music is the look on the kids’ faces when I walk into class!” She exclaims. “I couldn’t see myself teaching anything else. Children love music.

After a year and a half of teaching during the pandemic, which often meant teaching remotely, Arielle is thrilled to have all of her students in class this fall. Her first order of business was to learn every single student’s name (she has 600 students).  “Knowing a kid’s name helps that student feel safe and feel seen and heard.” And making her kids feel safe helps them be better students in her music class, and in every class.

Arielle’s second priority: to have fun! “I need them to have fun in my class,” she says. “I used to want them to be perfect little music makers. But I saw that they need to have fun in order to learn.” She uses familiar Disney songs, lots of movement, and different instruments to get her kids to engage. “Now they’re making music, and they don’t even realize they’re learning!

Thanks to ETM’s generous donors, students in Arielle’s class have access to instruments, books, scarves for dancing, and lots of other awesome toys and activities. And they have also have access to Arielle herself, who brings expertise not just in music education, but in connecting to students, thanks to ETM’s dedicated professional development initiatives.

Every gift people give to ETM is 100% used.  All the resources I’ve gotten, all the instruments, nothing has gone to waste.” And it all makes her classroom better and more fun, and her students open to learning.

Hear more from Arielle and get a look inside her classroom in our newest video

“I couldn’t see myself teaching anything else. Children love music.”

Daniel Rader/Education Through Music