Education Through Music opens 2021 songwriting contest

Education Through Music Los Angeles young musicians

The not-for-profit organisation, Education Through Music – Los Angeles (ETM-LA), has opened its 2021 Music Unites the World songwriting competition to applicants from around the world.

The winning piece will be the song that speaks best to music’s ability to unite the world. It will attract a US$1000 prize and receive its virtual premiere at the annual Music Unites the World Festival next March.

It will performed by up to 50 treble and alto singers from ETM-LA partner schools in Los Angeles County. They will be accompanied by alumni and faculty members of ETM-LA and the composer will have the opportunity to work with the director and choir.

ETM-LA was founded in 2006 to promote quality music education as a core curriculum subject in disadvantaged schools across the Los Angeles area. Following in the footsteps of the original Education Through Music project in New York, it has grown to encompass 46 public schools and has the support of many of California’s most successful film composers, producers and musical directors.

The organisation set out to demonstrate that music education is a catalyst for improved academic achievement, motivation and self-confidence for students in some of the county’s most challenged communities. It provides equipment, funding and tools to create a programme of music education in schools that had not been able to afford it previously. Continual evaluation of the ETM programmes has demonstrated a clear improvement in exam results across subjects over a three-year period.

With the focus on economically challenged districts, many of the 19,000 students in the last year have been from BAME communities. The Unite the World songwriting competition hopes to attract compositions of global influence to bring the cultures of the world into these schools.

On 18 June 2019, ETM-LA students from across Los Angeles performed their original song Music Unites the World at the LA Sparks’ halftime show at the Staples Center, accompanied by actor/musician Ricardo Hurtado (Malibu Rescue, School of Rock)

Applications must be received by 1 November 2020. Further details can be found at

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