U2 video shows the power of music education

Education Through Music – young brass players

The Los Angeles branch of the non-profit organisation Education Through Music (ETM-LA) has teamed up with U2, Illumination Universal Pictures and Republic Records to share stories of transformation through music via the band’s latest video.

‘Your Song Saved My Life’ was written and recorded by U2 for the ‘Sing 2’ original motion picture soundtrack and will be the first release from the film this December. ETM-LA students, alumni and teachers feature in the video, telling true and emotional stories about the way in which music helped lift them out of despair.

ETM started in the Bronx, New York and over 30 years has recognition from the US Department of Education for facilitating music departments in the most deprived schools. Through these music departments, ETM involves the entire school community to encourage cognitive and emotional development and to encourage new thinking in education.

As its website states, ‘In the ETM model, music is taught both in its own right, following a skills- and standards-based curriculum, and as a means of supporting learning in other areas at each grade level.’

Four ETM-LA partner schools have been designated California Exemplary Schools for the Arts and new affiliates have opened in Denver and Boston. ETM has also shared its model with educators at seminars in Santiago, Chile and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

The partnership with ‘Sing 2’, U2, Universal Pictures, Illumination and Republic Records includes a vital fundraising element for ETM, #Sing2gether, and the public is encouraged to submit the stories of the songs that saved their lives in a special U2 ‘These Songs Saved Our Lives’ on Spotify. Details of this and the video for the song can be found online here.

As Bono of U2 said, ‘I’d been doing these fan letters to musicians whose songs have saved my life, in some real ways. It got me thinking about that idea about how music can speak to you when others can’t get through… somehow, a voice on the radio can pull you out of the darkness.

‘That certainly happened to me. I wonder if the most basic function of music is to tell us we’re not alone.’

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