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Music Students Bring the Heat in Summer Music Program

LOS ANGELES, CA – Although school was officially out for the summer, the music kept playing as students from across Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA) partner schools brought the beat at this year’s two-week Summer Music Program. Students eagerly took part in strings ensemble, band ensemble, singing, dancing, and general music with a diverse mix of musical genres including contemporary, classical, film, pop, and rock.

Students found their flow during freestyle rap activities and even had the opportunity to lead fellow peers through learning conducting skills. Rehearsing dance moves that were smooth like “Butter” (BTS) and rocking out with lessons on “La Bamba” (Ritchie Valens), students showcased their skills, singing, style, and syncopation.

Led on-site by Music Teacher Mentor Lucy Cahuantzi, students loved working with ETM-LA Music Teachers, Nori Durham, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Westley Steele who brought the joy of orchestra, band, and general music to the summer. Each day was filled with musical warm-ups, fun games, and instrumental rehearsals.

Mrs. Durham shared, “the students learned each rhythm and the importance of listening to each other as an ensemble. The students were professional at every rehearsal, came prepared every day, and worked so hard. This is why I teach, to show the students the power of music and what they are capable of.”

On the final day of the program, parents, guardians, and siblings joined in on the fun at the culminating performance. Featuring music from Queen to Pharrell Williams, the audience channeled how “Happy” they were to clap along as the ensembles left their hearts on the stage. This year also featured a student solo cellist, Paxon Barnes, who presented “Minuet No. 2” (J.S. Bach). The concert represented all of the hard work each student put in over the two-week long camp and left the teachers, staff, and families resonating with “Happy” lyrics – [musical] “happiness is the truth.”.

A parent expressed, “Gregory was a little hesitant at first but he fell in love with it and didn’t want it to end! He was sad after it was over. So thank you for providing that opportunity for the kids.”

Throughout the camp, ETM-LA volunteers and student alumni also helped support the kids in their learning. The ETM-LA Summer Music Program continues to be a wonderful opportunity for the community to get involved in this mission, all year long!

This past school year, ETM-LA provided in-person music instruction and resources to 40 schools and approximately 18,500 students across LA County. In our upcoming 19th year of programming, your support helps ETM-LA continue closing the gap for under-resourced schools that remain deprived of in-school, yearlong music and arts programs. We are more resolved than ever in our mission to further equity and access in providing quality music education.


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Photo Credit: @onewileyandhiscamera on instagram