We believe that every child deserves a well-rounded education that includes music as part of the core curriculum. Our mission at Education Through Music-LA (ETM-LA) is to provide and promote music education in systemically marginalized schools across Los Angeles County in order to nurture students’ academic, social-emotional, and overall development.
ETM-LA is a force multiplier for school success through music.
The benefits of music as a core part of a child’s education can be life-changing. Kids who are involved with the arts have higher grades and are less likely to drop out of school (Ruppert, 2009), and music education has been linked to improved reading and mathematical skills as well as increased creativity, social skills, and self-confidence. Our work these past 18 years continues to champion systemic change, and there is now broader support like the recent passage of Prop 28 — which dedicates approximately $1 billion for music and arts education in K-12 public schools in California (passed with the largest margin of victory ever for an education initiative in CA).
Despite this good news, there remains a lack of human capital and resources (beyond funding), and fragmentation of music and arts programming across school districts. The length of time needed to progress from having no (or limited) music education to an established school-wide, sustained program for all students varies from school to school and requires care, coordination, and collaborative planning among school and community members. We work with schools/districts to assess their current state of arts programming and to help articulate their long-term vision. Prioritizing equity and access for TK-8 students in under-resourced communities, ETM-LA is uniquely comprehensive in its scope and objectives, supporting schools from inception to graduation and beyond.
Advisory Board Member Ed Helms (The Office) says, “Music has impact. And ETM-LA is a force-multiplier for that impact. The gap in education opportunities in different communities is one of the great social injustices, and Education Through Music-LA plugs right into that in a very smart and critical way. [They] put teachers back in the schools, provide a curriculum, [and] provide resources.”
Establishing a quality music program means identifying shared resources and working with principals to foster a community that values music as a core subject, such as through professional development for principals and teachers, workshops for parents, and student performances for the community. Over time, schools increase their ownership, financial commitment, and oversight of the music program. The end goal? Self-sustainability — seeing schools hire on the music teacher to their faculty and music/arts integrated into the community.
ETM-LA is proud to report that this Summer 2023, three (3) partner schools in Compton graduated from our program: Foster Elementary, Kennedy Elementary, and McKinley K-8 Integrated Arts School. While we have had partner schools successfully hire their ETM-LA music teacher, the ongoing nationwide shortage of educators has added challenges to our model’s approach to sustainability. To strengthen the field of future music teachers, ETM-LA has developed a workforce development and pathways program: Music Teacher Internship Program. This provides career pathways for high school and community college students, most especially those who may not typically have opportunities to enter the teaching field.
Our focus on systemic change — teaching schools how to “teach music” — is a win-win strategy. By building for the long-term, we can ensure every child receives quality music education and hope for a brighter future.
Victoria Lanier, Executive Director
Katie Moskovciak, Development & PR Manager
Education Through Music-Los Angeles
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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.
For more information: www.etmla.org