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Hello and Welcome Back!

Summer is always a great time to unplug and relax, to spend time visiting family and friends, or to try something new. Whatever way you’ve decided to map out your summer this year, we hope you’re feeling refreshed and excited for the what’s to come this fall. The Coalition Team certainly is! We’ve hosted some fantastic discussions and planning meetings with our Board, staff, teachers, and youth leaders across the country, for how we can continue to raise our voices for the importance of music and music education in Canada. We can’t wait to share some really exciting opportunities as we all look forward to the next several months together. But first, we want to say ‘hello’ to all of our passionate newsletter readers, and to welcome you back for an awesome and musical time ahead!

CNAL Conference

The Canadian Network for Arts & Learning hosts their National Conference Celebrating Canadian Diversity, on October 18-20 in Ottawa. The conference includes speakers, panel discussions, presentations, and performances to engage participants in discussions about “building bridges in a pluralistic society”. For more information and to register, visit their website.

Music Monday in the Streets by Madison Lockman

Islanders raise their voices to “Sing It Together” in the name of music education!
People came together from all across the island last May to attend the 12th Annual Music Monday celebrations. Held on May 1st, 2017, these nation wide celebrations are organized by local planning teams in centres, bringing together passionate music supports of all ages. The non-profit organization aims “To raise the awareness and understanding of the role that music education plays in Canadian culture and to promote the benefits that music education brings to young people.” The Music Monday celebration is one of the tools that the Coalition uses to promote their cause. 

Music Monday in the Streets is a special event which took place in Charlottetown, PE. It began with a parade of students beginning at Peake’s Quay. The parade marched through the town with it’s final destination being Trinity United Church, upon which several public figures officially began the celebrations. That which followed were some truly fantastic spectacles throughout the city. Performances included local school bands and choirs, community groups, and local soloists, as well as a multicultural concert and open mic for youth to share their own compositions.

The event featured a mass choir of 400 island school children and “The Singing Strings”, conducted by National Arts Centre Orchestra conductors Natalie Williams Calhoun and Alexander Shelley. Their performance of this year’s Music Monday anthem, “Sing it Together”, displayed a great many voices, singing about the power of music. Venues were packed with listeners of all ages showing tremendous community support at every show.

The entire celebration clearly exhibited the value of music in the community, stressing the necessity for music education in schools nationwide. Michelle Baldwin and Jesse Devries are members of the Singing Strings and commented on the subject.

“For me Music is expressing myself in a way that I don’t need to use words, because I find speaking, or even writing and getting my point across kind of difficult. In music, you can play your feelings, play your thoughts and your emotions,” said Baldwin.

Devries added to this by saying: “You can connect with people too, I think. [Music] is something that’s kind of universal... I know in Singing Strings there’s all sorts of different nationalities, and not all of us speak the same language. But, we all come together to play stuff in Orchestra, and being able to read music, it’s very beneficial to us.”  

Both think that all students should have access to a music education, as it gives opportunities, like learning an instrument, to those who might not otherwise get a chance. It provides our generation’s young minds with vital building blocks, like collaborative skills, cultural exposure, creativity and inspiration. As Baldwin put it, “Music is one constant in a world that can seem crazy.”

Thank you Christina and Galen!

We’ve had some absolutely wonderful Youth Ambassadors contributing to the work of the Coalition this year.

Christina Beharry has done some tremendous work as the Youth4Music Program Assistant. She has been instrumental in guiding Music Monday events, hosting the Music Monday School Invasion tour, and contributing to the Youth4Music program as an Ambassador and Youth4Music Toronto Hub co-chair. Christina will be continuing her studies this fall in the Translational Research Masters Program at the University of Toronto. We look forward to her continued involvement as a Youth4Music Ambassador and cannot wait to hear of all her AWESOME future successes!

Galen Boulanger is a Loran Scholar and this year’s Summer Student at the Coalition. He worked passionately this summer on the youth perspective of music and public policy. Galen’s summer began with Music Monday in Ottawa and included policy research and hosting Youth4Music events and meetings. We wish him all the best as he continues his studies at the University of Ottawa with a double degree in Voice and Science. Galen will continue to contribute to youth-led research as the team lead on the National Youth4Music Advisory Council. We wish you all the best Galen!

TU Jazz Festival

There is nothing more inspiring than a youth led music initiative! The TU Jazz Festival is back for their third year of music making in Toronto. This youth led jazz festival is hosting some fantastic performers making music in Mel Lastman Square, September 8 & 9. Admission is FREE to hear over 200 performers on five different stages over the two day festival. The Coalition will be supporting a special ‘Jam Stage’ to host opportunities for you to join in  the music! For more information visit their website.

Women’s Empowerment Module

The Coalition’s Women’s Empowerment Through Music initiative celebrates the women’s right to vote in Canada and its impact through music. The Coalition has commissioned a very special learning and teaching module on the women’s suffrage movement. Including an extensive listing of Canadian female performers, composers, music educators and activists, embedded in lesson plans. The module will be available on the Coalition’s website this fall with more information available soon.

Youth4Music - This Fall!

The Youth4Music Program is ‘for youth - by youth - through music’. It engages youth leaders from across the country to encourage discussion and actions for change for how music lives in schools and communities. Here’s an update with just some of the things we’re working on within the network over the next few months. Y4M will be hosting several discussions across Ontario to discover the successes and challenges of how music lives where you do. We will also host our second leadership symposium with our Youth4Music Montreal Hub to continue engaging the francophone community. During this year’s Ontario Music Educator’s Association conference, Y4M Ambassadors will present a workshop regarding the Youth4Music Manifesto and it’s connection with young people in schools who want to make a change through music. Interested? Contact us to find out how you can become involved in the Youth4Music network and raise your voice for music education!

Thank you • Merci • Miigwech • kinana'skomitina'wa'w

We are able to do all of this awesome work because of the support from many groups. For a full listing of this support go to Coalition, Youth4Music and Music Monday

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