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Tag archive: music education (6)

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Music Canada launches #EveryStage campaign, focusing first on music education

Music Canada is proud to return as a Platinum Partner of the 47th annual JUNO Awards in 2018, sponsoring both the Album of the Year category as well as the Welcome Reception, which is the official kickoff party to JUNOs weekend happening Friday, March 23rd in Vancouver.

Leading up to this year’s annual celebration of Canada’s brightest stars in music, Music Canada will be highlighting the ways in which our advocacy supports Canadian artists at every stage of their career. In the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of blogs detailing our research and advocacy efforts in four defined areas: music education, music cities, copyright, and celebrating success. To kick it off, we’ll start where most Canadians learn the fundamentals with music education.

One of the key recommendations in Music Canada’s Next Big Bang report, which identifies programs and policies designed to stimulate the development of Canada’s commercial music sector and to drive growth and job creation in the economy at large, is to enhance and invest in music education. The recommendation states:

Given the strong evidence that music education prepares workers who are more creative, better problem-solvers, and possess soft skills that are critical in the digital economy, as well as the correlation between music scenes and tech clusters, governments should invest more in music education and should consider music scenes as a tool for economic development.

This recommendation drives much of the advocacy undertaken by Music Canada to secure equitable access to quality music education for all young Canadians.

We are currently working with multiple provincial governments on various initiatives and strategies to meet this goal, and have been a long-time supporter of groups like MusiCounts and their efforts put more instruments into the hands of Canadian kids, as well as the Coalition for Music Education, promoting their efforts to improve the state of music education in Canada.

From a curriculum standpoint, music education falls under the mandate of provincial ministries, but municipalities also have a role to play in ensuring equitable access to music education for all Canadians. And the relationship is reciprocal, as music education also plays a role in the development of vibrant Music Cities.

As our 2015 landmark report, The Mastering of a Music City notes:

Music education is present in successful Music Cities. Generally, it is understood to include formal music training in the education system, as well as specialized programs at colleges and universities. Not only do these programs help develop future musicians, but they develop appreciation for music at a young age, seeding future audiences. The many other benefits of learning and playing music are well documented and wide-ranging. These include enhancing children’s neural activity, language development, test scores, IQ and learning abilities.

One way that municipalities can promote music education is through a phenomenal program that has been popping up in cities across Canada – music instrument lending libraries. Public library branches in Barrie, Kitchener, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and other cities now allow Canadians of any age to experiment with and learn new instruments free of charge.

We look forward to sharing more news in the near future on our work to promote and strengthen music education. Next in our series of blogs about how our advocacy supports artists at every stage of their career, we’ll dive deeper into Music Cities and how musicians can benefit from vibrant, actively promoted local music economies.

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2018 JUNO Host Committee releases BC education program resources

The 2018 JUNO Awards in Vancouver are just around the corner, and communities across British Columbia are invited to be part of Canada’s biggest annual celebration of music and musicians.

Let’s Hear It BC, the 2018 JUNO Host Committee, recently unveiled learning resources designed by BC music educators Jilaine Orton, Carol Dirianni, Adam J. Con, and Mark Reid for use in classrooms across the province and developed using BC’s redesigned curriculum. Teachers can use the resources to improve students’ awareness of the music industry, and outline the importance of investing in Canada’s growing music economy.

For grades 4 through 7, students are encouraged to study recipients of the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, analyzing their major contributions to both local and international communities through social activism and humanitarian work. For high school students grades 10 through 12, the program outlines ways to improve students’ awareness of the music industry and career opportunities through examining emerging and evolving trends in music.

Students and teachers are invited and encouraged to share their expertise and experience through social media with the hashtag #JUNOLearning.

The resources can be viewed here:

Grade 4 to 7 classrooms

Grade 10 to 12 classrooms

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Graham Henderson’s introductory remarks from Ontario Provincial Arts Education Roundtable

Below are introductory remarks delivered by Music Canada’s President and CEO, Graham Henderson, at the Provincial Arts Education Roundtable hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Education and Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport on October 16, 2017.

It sometimes feels today as though the liberal arts and the humanities are under siege. Right across the United States, Republican governors are rolling back support for state universities that offer liberal arts education. And we must be vigilant – because if it can happen there, it can happen here.

Culture and the arts are worth fighting for. The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley believed that the arts can reform the world.  He developed a theory of the imagination.  He believed that what he called the “cultivated imagination” can see the world differently – through a lens of love and empathy.  And how do you get one of those “cultivated imaginations”? Well through exposure to culture.

Now, it might be said that we live in a technology obsessed world.  And you, know, Percy’s wife, Mary had something to say about that.  She wrote Frankenstein, a book whose central message seems to be that the unmediated, unexamined introduction of technology into our lives is fraught with risk and danger. It can, not always, but it can create monsters.

Poets today continue to operate in this tradition.  If you don’t know the Texan poet and performance artist Arielle Cottingham, you should. Cottingham, now living in Melbourne, won the 2016 edition of the Australian Poetry Slam with an electrifying performance. She was recently interviewed for the magazine ArtsHub. In an article meaningfully entitled, “Why We Need Poets More Than Ever Before”, Cottingham cited Shelley as an inspiration for her work and pointed to his famous comment in A Defense of Poetry: Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

Shelley used the term “legislator” in a special sense. Not as someone who “makes laws” but as someone who is a “representative” of the people. In this sense creators must be thought of as the voice of the people; as a critical foundation of our society and of our democracy. They offer insights into our world and provide potential solutions – they underpin our future.

Cottingham agrees and explained it this way:

[Shelley] argues that poets are the moral barometers of their times and circumstances – and look at the well-known poets today. Bob Dylan is lauded as the voice of a generation. Maya Angelou elevated the voice of the black woman to an unprecedented visibility. Gil Scott Heron wrote a single line of poetry so prescient that it became more famous than he himself did – “The revolution will not be televised.” To quote Miles Merrill, “poets are more honest than politicians.”

A liberal arts education and an education in the humanities – STEM blended into STEAM – is therefore essential to a healthy society and one that is governed by empathy and love.

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MusiCounts Band Aid Program applications now open

The MusiCounts Band Aid Program is now accepting applications from Canadian schools whose music programs are in need of instruments. Canadian elementary, junior high, secondary, and separate schools can apply to receive up to $10,000 worth of instruments to ensure their program’s sustained growth. Whether your school offers concert or jazz bands, rock band programs or anything in between, this grant supports diverse music programs across Canada.

Schools that apply by the early application deadline of October 16, 2017 will receive a SHURE MV5 USB microphone (while supplies last, approximately $100 value). Submissions will officially close on November 20, 2017.

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Music Monday to host nationwide sing-a-long and Toronto youth rally May 2

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On Monday May 2, 2016, thousands of students from coast to coast will come together to participate in Music Monday and celebrate the impact music education has on our lives. The nationwide event will begin when schools open on the Eastern shores of Newfoundland, moving across the country to closing school bells by the Western shores of British Columbia. At 12:30 PM EST, students will join in on the official singing of the Music Monday Anthem, “We Are One.”

Beginning at Noon ET, student supporters and Coalition For Music Education’s Youth4Music ambassadors will gather outside Toronto City Hall at Nathan Phillips Square for the Toronto Lives Music rally and showcase concert, hosted by Céline Peterson. Toronto Mayor John Tory, entertainers Sharon & Bram, and JUNO-nominee Scott Helman will be in attendance for the rally, which will also feature performances from Canadian Brass, Melanie Doane & The Uschool, Dijah SB, Charlotte Siegel, and more.

The Coalition For Music Education will also be presenting the NUFSICISUM Youth Leadership Awards at the rally, which are given to students who have made a special positive impact in their school music program.

In 2013, retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield helped lead a nationwide sing-a-long of his Music Monday anthem “I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing),” co-written by Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, aboard the International Space Station. Following a nationwide search in 2014, Bolton, Ontario’s Connor Ross penned his winning anthem “We Are One,” which will be performed again in 2016 across Canada.

Participants are encouraged to use the hashtag #MMC2C to share their Music Monday experiences, and can find the links to the nationwide rally and sing-a-long webcasts beginning Monday morning on the Music Monday website.

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Music Canada’s submission to the Ontario Cultural Strategy Consultation

As part of the Ontario government’s first Cultural Strategy consultation, Music Canada was pleased to submit the following letter, as well as two of our recent reports, Live Music Measures Up: An Economic Impact Analysis of Live Music in Ontario, and The Mastering of a Music City.

The submission highlights the benefits of a vibrant music economy to Ontario communities, including job creation, talent retention, economic growth and diversification, tourism development, brand building and artistic growth, as well as music’s role in connecting communities and building a bridge across cultures, languages, and income levels.

Drawing from the results of our research, the submission identifies opportunities to strengthen the cultural sector, including:

  1. Provincial and municipal coordination
  2. Music tourism promotion
  3. Preservation of cultural heritage
  4. Investment in music education

We look forward to seeing the Ontario Cultural Strategy build on the creation of the Ontario Music Fund and the Ontario Music Tourism Strategy which were both launched in 2013.

View the submission

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