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From the Heart: Meet 5th Grader Odilia

“Music helps me get through tough and challenging times… I feel better, calmer, and happier.”


Thank you for your deep commitment to furthering equity and access to quality music education in under-resourced schools.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent traumatic events have been devastating, including a significant decline in students’ mental well-being. According to the article, “Children’s mental health is in crisis” (American Psychological Association; survey by the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago) 71% of parents say the pandemic had taken a toll on their child’s mental health.

5th Grader Odilia believes in the power of music. In her award-winning essay for ETM-LA’s 12th Annual Music Unites the World Festival, she writes: “Music can help you go through bad times while you are sad or just feeling down…you can relate to special songs that motivate you.” She notes that “when you’re motivated, you can overcome many challenges.”

Music has played an instrumental role in building Odilia’s own strength and resilience. “Music helps me get through tough and challenging times… I feel better, calmer, and happier. Music makes me feel happy and motivated to try harder and be a better person.” Odilia’s mom adds that music is “soothing” to her daughter. “It helps her have a better mood, and it gives her encouragement.

“In my future, I want to be a business owner,” Odilia proudly states. In the meantime, she finds joy in her choir class: “I love my music teacher and being able to have fun with music with my friends.”

Odilia’s mom recognizes the importance of music education. “[It] improves learning skills, communication, creativity, and more for Odilia and all students. Studying music helps grow a strong mindset full of positivity, respect, discipline, and intelligence.” Odilia shares, “[I] feel lucky to have a music class, and it makes me feel sad for those who don’t get to experience music.” Because of your unwavering support, students like Odilia are provided with the life-changing benefits of music education.



Watch Odilia’s video Spotlight below:


Your support has helped ETM-LA achieve milestones this school year, including:

  • 95% of ETM-LA partner school teachers believe music education should be offered as part of the core curriculum (most recent external evaluation).
  • Teachers reported a 40% increase in student engagement at ETM-LA partner schools, compared to only 7% in other schools receiving no or intermittent music programming.
  • In April, ETM-LA & ETM National’s partnership with NBCUniversal & Illumination/Sing 2 won “Outstanding Collaboration Honoree” at the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards.

Join our Keep the Music Playing campaign today to help us expand our reach in our upcoming 17th year. Your contribution will support long-term, sustainable music education programs and provide equal opportunities for children to reach their fullest potential.

THANK YOU for your support of our mission to ensure that children like Odilia have hope for a brighter future through music. We could not do this vital work without you!