Skip to content
Communicate the value and impact of what you do, explain your work, sell your services
Penny Swift and Katherine Damkohler, Education Through Music New York

[PODCAST] [5] Making music education a core subject in the poorest schools in New York – Education Through Music

In this episode, I’m talking with Penny Swift, Executive Director and Katherine Damkohler, Director of National Activities of Education Through Music (ETM). ETM is a New York-based organisation working with under-resourced schools to provide music education as a core subject for all students.

It has experienced significant growth over the last few years, and has an effective model which combines partnering with schools in the poorest neighbourhoods in New York, and employing and training music teachers who then go on to be employed by the schools.

You can listen now below, or on Spotify (search for the name) and iTunes.

What’s in this episode?

We talk about how ETM:

  • works with schools in the poorest districts in New York to provide music education as a core subject
  • works with every class in each school, for 1-3 years – prioritising ‘long-term, sequential music education’
  • works with the Principal (headteacher) as a partner, securing a commitment to sustaining the music programme after ETM’s work is finished
  • trains and develops the music teachers they employ, and gets them hired by the school after 1-3 years
  • aligns their curriculum with the teacher assessment framework used by headteachers
  • works with classroom teachers to understand how music can tie into other areas of the curriculum
  • is expanding nationally and internationally and is open to approaches from music educators about their model, and to share learning

Links for this episode

The Education Through Music website

Katherine Damkohler’s articles on the Huffington Post (useful for advocacy!)

ETM’s recent evaluation report  – web version  Full evaluation report

ETM’s first evaluation report 2008, evidencing increases in English and Maths scores


Music for Education & Wellbeing podcast [5] TRANSCRIPT – Education Through Music

About the music for education & wellbeing podcast

Listen in each month to get ideas, inspiration and practical advice from people involved in music education, community music, music therapy and more. Learn how you can break down barriers to music, through communications, advocacy and inclusive practice.

The music for the podcast was created by Otis Hynds, a young person working with Noise Solution.  



As a thank you, you’ll also get six tip sheets, templates and checklists for: social media, communications strategy, getting more traffic to your website, copywriting, blogging and annual reports. You’ll also hear each time a podcast episode is published, and receive an occasional digest of my blogs, plus tips, advice and signposting to useful information and resources.

Need some help with a particular aspect of your communications, or your communications strategy? Contact me.


1 Comment

  1. […] can access the podcast via a blog on our main website – Young people, music mentoring and digital stories – or on iTunes or Spotify (search for Music for Education & […]

Leave a Comment

Could we help you or your organisation?

Need a freelance writer, freelance editor, or communications support
for your organisation? Get in touch to talk further and/or get a quote.