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ETM-LA Releases Two-Year External Evaluation of Music Program


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

LOS ANGELES, CA Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA) is pleased to announce the release of its two-year External Evaluation Study. Published by Evaluation Specialists, this evaluation is the first of its kind in California that holistically examines the effectiveness of the ETM® program. The study combines rigorous design elements, adds new knowledge to the field, and helps establish a stronger evidence base for a sequential, comprehensive approach to music education in public schools.

The evaluation found that ETM-LA’s programming resulted in a 40% increase in teachers who reported high student engagement in learning at ETM-LA partner schools, compared to only 7% in schools receiving intermittent or no music programming. Also, 95% of teachers at ETM-LA partner schools agreed that music education should be offered as part of the core curriculum.

Key study highlights also state the positive impact that ETM-LA’s programming has on student behaviors associated with social-emotional learning and academic success. Improved behaviors include: understanding the feelings of, working well with, having skills for resolving conflict with, and cooperating with peers; being more engaged in learning; believing hard work leads to success; empathy; and paying attention in class.

Additionally, teachers attributed improvements in eight areas of student development to ETM-LA: self-confidence, self-control, persistence, creativity/innovation, social skills, school engagement, teamwork, and focus.

One classroom teacher from the study notes that music “stimulates students’ creativity, helps them grow into their personalities, and helps them form identity. It makes them love learning.” A student participant says, “Music class makes me like myself more – because sometimes I can get upset easily, and when I’m going to music it makes me… think a little bit more about myself. How I’m proud of myself and how I do all those things.”

“I find that music primes [a student’s] brain for learning, it settles their spirit, and gets them in the right frame of mind,” states Principal Monique Pugh, McKinley K-8 School of Integrated Arts.

Middle School Student Isaac confides, “I would be emotional and sometimes I would take it out on the wrong people. But when I’m doing music it calms me down. Music has changed my life in many ways. It’s made my anxiety better, because school’s kind of stressful. I had like 4 F’s…[now they’re] straight A’s.”

“The positive results of this study are a testament to the vital importance of comprehensive music education as a core part of the curriculum. We must continue to ensure that all students have access to studying music deeply as a sequential subject. The ongoing commitment from and collaboration of schools, administration, teachers, and community partners are key to furthering this initiative,” states ETM-LA Executive Director Victoria Lanier.

Now in its 16th year of programming during the 2021-22 school year, ETM-LA is providing music instruction and resources to 49 schools and approximately 21,000 students across LA County. ETM-LA is part of the national Education Through Music network of independent affiliates across the country.

To access the full evaluation report, please click here.

To view highlights of the evaluation, please click here.


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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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