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Broadway Actress Imparts Advice to ETM-LA Students

Contact: Victoria Lanier
For Immediate Release
Phone: (818) 433-7600
Email: / Website:


LOS ANGELES, CA – On June 30, Broadway Actress and Singer-Songwriter Shoshana Bean visited Castelar Elementary School to share about her experiences and to give advice to young musicians at the Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA) strings summer program. Bean made her debut in the original cast of Hairspray on Broadway and later starred as Elphaba in Wicked.

The energized group, composed of students from Castelar and Dorris Place Elementary Schools and led by ETM-LA Music Teacher Jonathan Long, performed some of the songs they had been working on for Bean. For many of the students, this was their first time playing in an ensemble setting. Bean shared the importance of collaborating with others to create music and art and how teamwork influenced her experiences in musical theater.

“As important as it is to do your best and [to] know your music and [to] know what part you’re on, it’s just as important to pay attention to what everyone else does, too,” Bean told the students. “It’s not enough to just be the star. I think that being a member of an ensemble is always important. Being a team player is always important.”

Bean, who is working on her fourth solo album, also spoke to the young violinists about songwriting. She ran through some vocal warmups with the students and left them with some advice as they prepared for their final concert later that day. Earlier in the week, with the help of Long, the students wrote an original song about family love.

“I think that what has really always been important to me about music and songwriting and performing is that when I have feelings… when I’m sad or I’m angry or I’m upset, or I’m bored, I’ve always had music to go to,” Bean said. “So, I hope that you guys always feel like you have your instrument or your pen and your paper if you want to want to write a song.”

This summer, ETM-LA offered music programs at Castelar Elementary School for strings students and Rio Vista Elementary school for band students. The music camps lasted ten days and students worked diligently alongside their teachers for four hours each day.

ETM-LA provides quality, yearlong, in-school music instruction in disadvantaged Los Angeles schools as part of the core curriculum for every child. Since its founding in 2006, ETM-LA has grown to serve over 12,000 students at 25 partner schools in Los Angeles.  

View photos from the event here.