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Students Enjoy Virtual Summer Learning and Fun with ETM-LA

Contact: Katie Boone
Phone: (818) 433-7600


ETM-LA Summer Online Music Program Teachers

LOS ANGELES, CA – That’s a wrap on Education Through Music-Los Angeles’ Summer Online Music Program! Nearly one hundred students from ETM-LA partner schools across LA County enjoyed learning and fun while participating daily in two weeks of virtual strings ensemble, band, or general music and vocal instruction.

Each day began with a “Health and Wellness Through Music” session led by Music Teacher & Therapy Specialist Ricardo Hurtado, during which students shared their feelings, performed movement exercises, and learned ways to stay healthy during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The students then continued onto their specialized classes, which ranged from playing the blues to playing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” as well as music theory, conducting technique, and songwriting using Soundtrap and GarageBand.

The students eagerly learned how to play new instruments and expanded their skills on their current instruments. They were especially glad to have the opportunity to see their friends and classmates again, even if it was virtually. Student Ethan said, “I like that I can be in a band with my friends who are also playing different instruments. It’s like we are on a team!” Audrey from Castelar Elementary added, “Playing music makes me feel happy, relaxed, and excited. My favorite part about summer program is playing different instruments and genres of music.”

Gayle Levant

Special guests made surprise appearances throughout the two weeks, including Harpist Gayle Levant, who has played and recorded with major artists including Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, and Stevie Wonder, and on hundreds of film and TV projects. Levant shared stories about her illustrious career. When student Ingrid asked if she ever felt nervous when meeting a celebrity, Levant replied only once – “that was during a recording session with Frank Sinatra, but only because the harp hadn’t arrived at the studio on time!” She also offered advice to the students: “Love what you do, then it will never be work.”

Parents, siblings, and even pets excitedly joined in on the fun at home too! Sally, an ETM-LA parent, shared: “With the stay-at-home orders, they haven’t had much engagement… This class gave [the students] a fun, interactive, and educational opportunity to express themselves through communication, music, and dance. We wish it could be all summer!”


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 approximately 17,500 students at 42 partner schools in Los Angeles County.

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