Special program brings music class to over 50 New York City public schools

Sandra Bookman Image
Tuesday, December 26, 2023
Special program brings music class to over 50 NYC public schools
Sandra Bookman has more on the music program.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Education Through Music may look like an ordinary music class at P.S. 154 in Queens, but it's actually part of an extraordinary program.

"Education Through Music started over 30 years ago, and it was founded by two men who recognized that students who otherwise would never be exposed to music.. needed to be so, because it would contribute to their growth, their development, their motivation, their future," said CEO Janice Weinman.

P.S.154 is just one of over 50 schools across the five boroughs taking part in the program.

The program hires and pays for music teachers for New York City public schools, that might not otherwise have money for the arts. It's something that educators say can help students build their confidence and their academic performance.

"Definitely in the area, number one the top area is in mathematics, you gotta count beats, and then the second area would be reading, you have to read music," said P.S. 154 Principal Pamela Gathers-Bullard. "So a lot of that practice is incorporated within the content when they're learning with their classroom teachers...so you do see like those rise in performance scores, and then those kids feel successful."

And the music helps students express themselves.

"Having a music program in my school really put me on to those devices to get out my emotions at home, during band," said teacher Keefe Martin. "It taught me discipline, so growing up, going to college, I always told myself that this was something that I really wanted to share with kids in the city."

Now these talented students say they can't imagine a school without music.

"It wouldn't be the same, sometimes like I'm just feeling down and I just listen to music or something and after I feel like way better," said 10-year-old student Rofaida Khalil.

And the practice has paid off as P.S. 154 recently thrilled the audience at the bran-new Perelman Performing Arts Center in Lower Manhattan.

"We need to bring that joy back through the arts," Gathers-Bullard said.

You can learn more about Education Through Music on their website.

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