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ETM-LA Dives Deep into Culturally Responsive Teaching


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

On February 27, 2021, Education Through Music-LA held a virtual training session for its teachers, with a focus on culturally responsive teaching (CRT) and Latin American music and culture.

Keynote Speaker Rickey Minor (Emmy Award-Winning Music Producer & ETM-LA Advisory Board Member), launched the morning’s sessions with encouragement and reflection. He shared, “The more I learn, the more I need to learn. Make your goal to be your best, authentic self and work hard [at it]; it will clear the path for you.”

ETM-LA’s program staff and teachers examined practices from Zaretta Hammond’s Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain and dove deep on how to embrace aculturally responsive teaching approach.  Nurturing the student community, opening opportunities for deeper learning, establishing alliances, and shifting one’s academic mindset were among several topics explored. An ETM-LA teacher shared, “I learned how to help my students reconstruct an achievement mindset while dealing with difficult times at school or at home.”

Guest Speaker Dr. Loneka Battiste (Assistant Professor of Music Education, University of Tennessee – Knoxville) led a detailed presentation on areas explored in the book, such as conceptions of self and others, disrupting implicit bias, the matrix of domination/oppression, and the four dimensions of CRT (caring, communication, curriculum, and instruction). Delving into direct music teaching applications, Dr. Battiste encouraged participants to “acknowledge ethnic and cultural diversity in music instruction” through: using music familiar to students to reinforce concepts, connecting the music of community musicians to musical concepts addressed in class, inviting culture bearers into the classroom, and incorporating aural music learning as a strategy.

ETM-LA Music Teacher Julio De León presented “A Visit through Latin American Music,” which introduced the musical heritage of Guatemala, Brazil, and Cuba by examining the history and instrumentation of traditional musical styles. Using authentic Latin American music, De León showcased the beauty and musical diversity of these countries by engaging the teachers in fun, interactive, and innovative activities that can be easily adapted for elementary and middle school students.

Music teachers in ETM-LA’s network receive over 100 hours of professional development workshops, personal mentorship, and coaching, as well as access to educational resources. ETM-LA’s year-round trainings support teachers’ professional development by deepening their knowledge and enhancing their skills, ensuring their long-term success. Our teachers impact the lives of thousands of kids and are committed to making a positive difference in their community.

ETM-LA currently serves approximately 19,000 children in 46 schools, offering weekly music as part of the core curriculum in such diverse communities as Bellflower, Boyle Heights, Burbank, Compton, Chinatown, ​Downtown LA, ​East LA, Inglewood, ​San Fernando Valley,​ and South Central LA.



Education Through Music-Los Angeles is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide and promote music in under-resourced schools as part of the core curriculum for every child in order to enhance students’ academic achievement, creativity, and overall development.

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