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GW038: Hitting the Right Note in Education with Victoria Lanier


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Education Through Music–Los Angeles, an independent 501(c)3 organization, began in the Fall of 2006 to provide and promote the integration of music into the curricula of disadvantaged schools in order to enhance students’ academic performance and creative and general development.  ETM-LA is based on the successful ETM model (New York, 1991).

Every child deserves a well-rounded education: one that includes music. Yet 61% of schools in California do not even have one full-time equivalent arts specialist.  ETM-LA utilizes a comprehensive program that incorporates music into the education of every child, including those with special needs.

As schools look for ways to re-introduce the arts back into the curriculum, some schools are opting for exposure opportunities, by bringing in an artist here or there, or through programs that donate arts materials but don’t include a plan for how to incorporate these things into the overall learning plan. Education Through Music is the only nonprofit in Los Angeles that provides a comprehensive program to bring music education to inner-city schools, ensuring that the work they are doing will have a long-term impact with the students being served.

ETML LA has many Hollywood stars champion their cause from Ed Helms (The Hangover 2, The Office..), Joshua Bell (Grammy Award Winning Violinist), Glee to John Williams, famous film composer, he has composed for movies you might have heard of like Jaws, Indiana Jones, Star Wars.. and many more.

Victoria Lanier grew up in New Jersey and was heavily involved in music from an early start. She majored in music at Princeton and after graduation started teaching for Education through Music at an inner city school in New York.

She saw firsthand how the program benefitted the children and when she later moved to Los Angeles, she was inspired to start the LA branch of Education Through Music.

“Music transcends cultures, school communities and languages,” Lanier said. “Kids can come together and speak a common language.” Victoria Lanier


~ Education Through Music: The program partners with inner city schools to provide music as part of the curriculum for every child to enhance their academic achievements. Hear more about the different programs and support that they offer the schools in running the program.

~ Making Partnerships: The program looks for schools that support their vision and mission. Victoria talks about the different criteria that they look for in partnerships as well as their monitoring process for the program once it is in place.

~ Going Deeper: Victoria shares about plans for scaling up the program and ensuring sustainability in the different schools that they are involved in. Word of mouth by educators and parents also helps spread the word about the program to other areas.

~ The positive effect: Victoria has been able to mobilize the entertainment industry towards championing the program, helping to bring more support. This success helps to raise more awareness about the program and get more support. Kids also get to enjoy meeting celebrities getting inspired by them!

~ The secret sauce: It’s important to be who you are and share your work and passion with the circle of supporters who are helping you out. Victoria shares tips on how to be successful in your own endeavors based on her own experience.

~ Be a part of it: Victoria shares the various ways that people can participate and give back to the program.  There is something for everyone.


Victoria is doing what she loves, and she feels lucky and blessed to be able to live her passion.

Giving Warriors means…

Someone who despite obstacles and circumstances continues to give and be part of a bigger movement than themselves and fight alongside those who cant by giving, either their time or their resources.


Teacher Man by Frank McCourt



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