In conversation with Nonprofit New York member: Education Through Music

In conversation with Nonprofit New York member: Education Through Music


Membership Director Taina Sanon spoke with Helen Frank of Education Through Music, a member organization of Nonprofit New York. We will continue to highlight the work of our members because we believe when your nonprofit is stronger, all of us are stronger.

Tell me about the organization and what you do.

Education Through Music (ETM) is a New York-based nonprofit that partners with NYC schools to provide high-quality music education as a core subject for all children, and utilizes music education as a catalyst to improve overall achievement, motivation for school, and self-confidence. When schools closed in NYC on March 13, our teachers we able to pivot almost seamlessly to distance learning, and we were able to provide essentially uninterrupted service once school resumed on March 23.

How many are on your team?


Servicing how many of the nonprofit population?


Where do you see your organization in the next five years or ten years?

We believe that music education will continue to be under-prioritized, despite the overwhelming data supporting its value for students. I think that we will still be advocating for music is schools and finding innovative ways to ensure that all students, no matter their background or circumstance, have access to high quality music education.

In addition, ETM recognizes that distance learning, or e-learning, is here to stay in some shape or form. In five years, I think that ETM will be providing high-quality music education to over 100,000 kids across the country via live and virtual instruction, and providing essential professional development to thousands of music educators at our partner schools and beyond them, PD that will include music education instruction support and mentoring as well as training in creating impactful e-learning lessons.

How has partnering with Nonprofit New York helped you succeed?

Nonprofit New York offers low- and no-cost resources to enhance my and my colleagues' nonprofit management skills, as well as granting us access to myriad other organizations with whom we can build meaningful partnerships or share important resources and information.

What are you currently working on that you want us to mention to our membership?

As the school year draws to a close at the end of June, our teachers have continued to create incredible video lessons for their students. We've collected a number of them on our website so that other teachers and parents can ensure that music remains in their kids' lives (

They're also figuring out how to create meaningful end-of-year projects and performance opportunities for their students, which requires patience, tech savvy, and dedication to each student.

In addition, we've started a Friday Facebook Live lesson series, featuring a new teacher each week, and a new lesson. Anyone--a student at one of our partner schools, a student in CT, a student in Europe, anyone!--can join us! We'll be continuing our live lessons through the summer.

And it's not just the teachers who are being incredible. Our admin staff has been burning the midnight oil, from my colleagues in fundraising who are looking under every rock for emergency funding, as well as planning a virtual gala for later this summer; to our finance team who have been tirelessly managing our SBA PPP applications; to our evaluations department who has been surveying the teachers regularly to find out exactly what they need right now to be successful.