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Frequently Asked Questions- General

What is Education Through Music?

Founded in 1991, Education Through Music (ETM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the use of music in inner-city schools and schools in disadvantaged areas, as a means of enhancing students' academic performance and general development. By providing year-long, in-school music education programs, ETM makes music education a reality for thousands of children who would otherwise have limited or no exposure to the arts.  Our current activities focus on elementary, middle and K-8 schools.

Where are your programs located?

ETM’s partner schools are located in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. In 2006, ETM licensed an organization to replicate our model in Los Angeles. Beyond its core partner school activities in New York, ETM shares experiences by participating in conferences, and offers consulting services, such as professional development, curriculum development, and model replication. 


What impact does your program have on students?

ETM’s programs improve students’ academic achievement, self-confidence, and motivation for school. Ongoing assessment of our programs has found that students receiving ETM's program perform better academically than students in schools with similar demographics that do not receive the ETM's program. Students’ participation in ETM music class and school performances contributes to their creativity as well as to social and emotional capacities. Students in ETM partner schools have also earned higher scores on Math and English Language Arts assessment. 


What makes ETM different from other music education programs?

ETM provides inner-city schools with a music educator to serve every child every week throughout the school year. ETM's programs include a comprehensive, sequential music curriculum. We teach music as a core subject, and it is used to support learning in all areas. We work to transition our music teachers from our payroll onto the school's to create a long-term, sustainable programs. ETM advocates to all the school's stakeholders, including parents and teachers. 

Frequently Asked Questions- Music Teachers

What are the qualifications to be a music teacher with ETM?

ETM requires all of its music teachers to have degrees in music education, performance, or music therapy. Most of ETM’s music teachers hold degrees in music education.


Individuals who do not currently hold ‘eligible’ status for classroom teaching from the NYC Department of Education (DOE) will be required to undergo a fingerprinting and background check via the DOE Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS). Only those persons who receive ‘eligible’ status from the NYCDOE are eligible for hire by ETM.

What materials does ETM provide for students and music teachers?

ETM provides an assortment of general music classroom instruments such as hand percussion, recorders, xylophones, etc., for use in our partner schools. We provide music teachers with teaching resources such as curriculum materials, a lesson planner, markers, giant staff paper, instrument posters, music history timelines and other visual music learning aids and decorations.


There is also a resource lab located in our main office on 42nd Street that is available to our Music Teachers any time during office hours and is stocked with a wide array of music education books and learning materials. In addition to this, we encourage our schools to pursue grant opportunities, and several have been successful in securing donated instruments.

Will I receive any training and professional development?

Yes. ETM provides ongoing training and professional development to ETM Music Teachers and to school-employed music teachers.


Before each school year, ETM’s Director of Programs and program staff host ETM Academy, an intensive clinic covering topics such as classroom management, lesson planning, assessment, integration, and other concepts and strategies that supply teachers with the tools needed for success.


Throughout the school year, we provide day-long and evening workshops in both small and large group settings to reinforce training and introduce other topics. For example, workshops have covered choral conducting techniques, body percussion, and incorporating the use of Orff instruments. ETM pays training stipends for all sessions.


We also provide ongoing mentoring and coaching throughout the year.

What benefits does ETM provide for Music Teachers?

ETM Music Teachers who maintain a regular teaching schedule of four or more days per week are eligible to enroll in an employee-contributed health insurance plan. Each Music Teacher also receives a number of paid sick days pro-rated based on their regular teaching schedule. 

How much do I get paid?

Because ETM can offer substantial and sustained employment throughout the school year, it can also offer a dependable and consistent level of income. Daily rates for teachers start at $185 and above, depending on teaching experience and educational qualifications. Merit raises are considered once a year, typically during the summer months.

Would I be an employee of ETM?

ETM Music Teachers are employees of ETM, not consultants. Taxes, social security, etc., are withheld as directed by law.


Over time, we work with our partner school principals to help them find room in their budgets to hire music teachers to school staff, so our long-term goal is for our teachers to get hired directly by our partner schools. However, our newest partnerships are not ready for this yet, and so ETM typically employs more than 40 “ETM Music Teachers” each year.


If you are hired by one of our partner schools we will continue to provide you with support and training, at the discretion of the principal.

How do I apply to be an ETM music teacher?

To apply for a teaching position with ETM, CLICK HERE.

What is ETM?

Founded in 1991, Education Through Music (ETM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the use of music in inner-city schools, as a means of enhancing students’ academic performance and general development. By providing year-long, in-school music education programs, ETM makes music education a reality for thousands of children who would otherwise have limited or no exposure to the arts.


Our goal is not to make professional musicians, but to introduce all children to music using a skills-based, sequential curriculum. ETM teaches music as a subject in its own right and also uses music as a tool to help children think, improve academic performance, enhance self-esteem and increase motivation for school. Our current activities focus on elementary, middle and K-8 schools.

Could this be a career?

Our long-term goal is to build sustainability in each of our partnerships and work towards getting ETM teachers hired directly by the principals of the schools they are placed in.

How much should my kids know at the end of the semester?

This depends on how much previous music instruction the students have received. ETM has created benchmarks of skills to be attained for each grade.

How am I evaluated?

Each ETM Music Teacher receives informal observations from the program staff at least once a month. Formal observations are conducted twice a year. Observations focus on lesson planning, pacing, classroom management, student interaction, integration, etc.

About how much preparation is necessary to teach each week?

While this varies depending on background and training, it is not atypical, especially for beginning teachers, to spend an hour or more preparing each lesson plan, with a plan being required for each grade level. Thorough planning is critical to success in the classroom. Homework, worksheet, quizzes, projects and other assignments also take time to assess and record.

Is my schedule flexible so I can audition and tour?

ETM is willing to accommodate a limited amount of absence due to touring, recording sessions or auditions if they do not amount to more than two weeks per school year. If such interruptions exceed these two weeks or become too frequent, then instructional consistency will suffer and continuing as an ETM Music Teacher may not be feasible. However, a principal’s recommendation of the Music Teacher’s value to the school and that principal’s willingness to accommodate the necessary rescheduling on the Music Teacher’s behalf may offer a suitable solution in some cases if program quality is not compromised.

Can I collect unemployment during the summer?

If it is anticipated that a teacher will be returning to a position in September, then unemployment benefits are not available during the summer. If, however, a music teacher will not be returning to teach in September due to termination, then unemployment eligibility will be determined by the state.

Is there summer work available?

ETM’s in-school programs cease during July and August and in general, there is no work available for Music Teacher during that time. However, there are limited employment opportunities as workshop presenters at our summer trainings for some of the more seasoned and experienced Music Teachers.

Who do I report to?

ETM Music Teachers report to the Director of Programs.

How do I get paid?

ETM is on a semi-monthly payroll. ETM Music Teachers are paid for classes and all other activities taught during the previous two weeks. Pay day is the 15th and last day of the month for the previous period.

Frequently Asked Questions- Donating to ETM-LA

How do I donate?

Online: Donate online using a Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover credit card or through Pay Pal.


By check: You can send a check or money order payable to "Education Through Music" to:

Education Through Music, Inc.
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 1501
New York, NY 10168


By phone: You can make a credit card donation by phone by calling the ETM office at 212-972-4788 between 9:00am and 5:00pm Eastern Time.  


Other: For additional information about other ways to donate, including securities, donor-advised funds, or planned giving, please contact the development department by calling (212) 972-4788 or sending an email to

Whom do I contact if I have a question or problem making an online donation?

Please contact the development department by calling (212) 972-4788 or sending an email to

Can I make a tribute donation in honor or in memory of someone?

Yes. Our online donation form provides space for you to indicate whom you are honoring, and, if appropriate, whom you would like us to notify and with what message. If you donate by mail or phone, just include this same information at the time of your donation.

Will ETM rent, sell, or trade my personal information?

No. ETM will not trade, share, or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else unless required by law to do so. ETM does not send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations.

Is my contribution tax-deductible?

Yes. Education Through Music is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Federal Tax ID #13-3613210.  Donations are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

What does my donation support?

Donations help sustain ETM’s partner school program, which reaches tens of thousands of inner-city children in New York City. If you wish to restrict your gift to a particular project or school, just indicate your designation when you make your donation.