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September 8, 2010
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th ONLY $5 Back to School Discount to the

Champions for Music Education Cabaret
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
7:30pm (doors open at 7)
The Music Gallery Toronto

with the discount code: backtoschool

Regular Price: $25  Today Only:  $20 (prices include HST)
offer expires at midnight tonight: September 9th, 2010.

Come celebrate and support MUSIC EDUCATION with additional performances by:

Tim Brady, Robert Priest, Chuck Currie, Boris Brott, Eric Peterson,
Dr. David Alter, Charles Daellenbach, Jowi Taylor
and Tom Worrall

all proceeds to be donated to the Coalition for Music Education in Canada

Purchase tickets:  championscabaret.eventbrite.com

Champions Cabaret fundraiser: an incredible evening of music and prose

August 23, 2010
by

The Coalition for Music Education in Canada
is celebrating the addition of
16 NEW Champions for Music Education
on Tuesday, September 17th, 2010
7:30pm (doors open at 7pm)
at The Music Gallery in Toronto
with an evening of music and prose
celebrating and supporting
the importance of MUSIC EDUCATION.

Featuring the incredible talents of:

Tim Brady, Robert Priest, Charles Daellenbach, and many more…

Get your tickets today:  Register for The Champions for Music Cabaret in Toronto, Ontario  on Eventbrite

Listen to CBC podcasts from our Music Monday concert in Vancouver

June 30, 2010

After a fabulous Music Monday Showcase Concert in Vancouver this year, we had a wonderful fundraising concert that evening at the Yale Club.  We had some great local talent join us including Veda Hille, Adaline, Luke Doucet, Kinnie Starr and James Lamb, hosted by CBC Radio 3’s, Grant Lawrence.

CBC Radio 2 recorded three of the sets that evening: Luke Doucet, Kinnie Starr and James Lamb. They are now available to hear on the CBC website. Click the link below to hear Luke’s set, and to navigate to the other performers. Luke is writing the new song for Music Monday 2011 and we couldn’t be happier.  Here he performs a gorgeous acoustic set, just Luke and his guitar with his incredibly talented 15 year old daughter, Chloe, doing harmony. Enjoy!

Visit:  http://www.cbc.ca/radio2/cod/concerts/20100503luked

School Band & Strings in Vancouver Remains Under Threat

June 12, 2010

Norman Mould, Director of  the BC Coalition for Music Education reports:

Despite considerable input from parents and others at school board meetings, as well as a number of student events that captured the attention of the media, the popular band-and-strings program in the Vancouver School District (VSB) remains under threat.

Following the public support of the program, the VSB had indicated that it would not be part of the necessary economy measures. However, the report by a specially appointed auditor failed to produce any silver bullet solutions and latest reports suggest that the music program is once again seen as a way of “saving” $600,000. A final decision is expected by the end of June.

Read more recently posted information:

Back to the drawing boardGlobe and Mail – Wendy Stueck – June 7, 2010
“This report hasn’t done anything to help the budget situation,” VSB … $600000 and provides band and strings instruction to schools throughout the city. …

School board hopes review will produce more money
Globe and Mail – Wendy Stueck – 26 May 2010
Vancouver School Board trustees hope a special adviser’s review to be … Instructors for the district’s itinerant band and strings program were kept out of …

Vancouver School Board “in limbo” as Ministry delays on budget reviewThe Vancouver Observer (blog) – Ryan Elias – 2 Jun 2010
A provincially-ordered review of the Vancouver School Board’s budget due … here is in elementary school and is planning to join strings or choir or band?

Music programs — The VSO responds
The proposal to cease investing in the band and strings program is one that the VSO strongly urges the VSB to withdraw. We have witnessed first hand the

Music Education: Part of a High School Survival Pack

June 8, 2010

(Stacey Murie is a music student at Cawthra Park Secondary School. Below is a her perspective on Music Education)

Imagine yourself as a high school student having all your dreams come true. Feels good, right? That’s what my life has felt like for the past four years of school. I am a grade 12 student at Cawthra Park Secondary School, one of the two secondary schools with a Regional Arts Program in the Peel District School Board. I major in instrumental music therefore I have music class every day of the year led by extraordinarily passionate teachers. I also get to participate in the many bands and choirs that my school offers. Getting to create music every day and regularly being introduced to different genres of music is a dream come true for me. Music class has always been a sanctuary for me in school, it’s a class where creativity is encouraged and most of the subject matter is open to interpretation. I believe music education is like a high school student’s survival pack. It provides energy when I’m out with my friends, it is a calming mechanism when there is a lot of pressure, a tool for focus during exams, and a remedy for a bad day. Music education exposes students to different types of music and helps them further understand the types they already know so more can be added to their survival packs. I truly believe music education has helped me achieve success in high school, so I do not understand why in Ontario today, a good music education is difficult to find.

The Government of Ontario is not providing enough funding for adequate music education in both elementary and secondary schools across Ontario. This fact was proven when the Coalition for Music Education in Canada conducted a national survey in 2005 of the music programs in elementary and secondary schools, both private and public. The survey discovered that Ontario provided the worst music education in Canada, as 25% of music teachers in Ontario are not music specialists and the Government of Ontario had reduced funding for music education the most out of all provinces and territories in Canada .As a stubborn seventeen year old with a need to be right, I decided to conduct a 50 person survey to prove the value of music education and why cutting funding is harming Ontario’s students.

I wanted to find the importance of music education from all perspectives, so I interviewed ten people from each of the five age groups I created, these age groups being: middle school (grades 6-8), high school (grades 9-12), undergraduate university (ages 18-22), 23- 39, and 40+. I asked each person six questions addressing the value of their music education, the role of music in their lives, how music education helps in other academic subjects, the most enjoyable aspect of their music education, and the long term benefits of their music education.

A surprising conclusion of this survey was the way in which people viewed music education was very black and white. People either had fantastic music classes which were very interactive and from which they reaped huge benefits. Or, there were also people who received very poor and limited music education which they learned little from. The interview I found most interesting with my grandmother who had received a poor music education. She said her music classes only consisted of basic note reading, but not enough to fully understand a piece of music and minimal vocal instruction. She said the worst part of her music education was that the teacher made each student sing in front of all their peers. Those of us whose singing resembles the voices of people on early American Idol auditions understand how horrifying this is. Needless to say, my grandmother did not learn very much from her music classes. She said she looks at the music education I am receiving now with envy. All students at my middle school graduated fully music literate and able to play an instrument. Now I am about to graduate from high school knowing how to analyze pieces from all different genres of music, how to perform different styles of music and even how to compose my own songs. My grandmother did not receive a quality music education, but she can see the value of music programs like mine. My grandmother understands how important quality music education is, which is why she enrolled her three daughters in private piano lessons and made them each practise for one hour a day.

The people I interviewed who received or are currently received a high quality music education listed huge benefits from it. Some of the benefits these people listed were improved memory, focus, listening skills, confidence, attention to detail, coordination, basic arithmetic, creativity, and many also commented that the dedication practising music requires lead to improved memory and time management skills. I discovered that people in the older age groups could really reflect on what they learned from their music classes in school and how it has helped them throughout their lives, which was really amazing to hear. I noticed the greatest appreciation of music education generally from students who had received or are currently receiving an instrumental music education. Learning an instrument is a privilege that many parents are financially unable to provide for their children, so the people I interviewed were very grateful. Learning an instrument practises note and rhythm reading, improves listening skills for tuning, and develops an understanding of different types of pieces to perform them musically. The people I interviewed with instrumental experience also commented that they hugely benefited from bands because they made friends and learned to work as a team.

The benefits of quality music education are endless, which is what every student deserves. I honestly believe that if every student received a basic instrumental education taught by certified and passionate teachers, the academic potential of students in Ontario would be exceptional. Music education is a tool for success and all students should be able to carry music education survival packs. I have been blessed with probably one of the best music educations in Ontario. I had a private piano teacher that taught me how to love each note I played, teachers at school that have the ability to unearth a passion in their students by sharing never ending knowledge, and I have met friends through the many bands and choirs available to me that make music class so enjoyable. I am a band geek, I’ll admit that. But every student should be lucky enough to call themselves that.

by Stacey Murie

Letter from Student Advocate – to Premier of Ontario

June 8, 2010

April 13, 2010

Premier Dalton McGuinty
Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1

Dear Mr. McGuinty,

I am a grade 12 student at Cawthra Park Secondary School in Mississauga, ON. Cawthra Park is one of the two schools in the Peel District School Board with a Regional Arts Program in which I major in instrumental music. I attend this school because I have a passion for music and it is one of the only secondary schools in my area that has a quality music program. I find it incredibly disheartening that the Ontario Government is inadequately funding music education in both elementary and secondary schools.

The Coalition for Music Education in Canada conducted a national survey in 2005 to examine the state of Canada’s music programs. This survey concluded that Ontario had the weakest music programs in Canada out of all the provinces and territories. The survey revealed that out of all the Ontario schools surveyed, both elementary and secondary, 25% of music teachers were not certified to teach music. Music education in Ontario had also suffered the largest reduction in government funding. The survey also discovered that music education is poorly assimilated into the curriculum as only 58% of all the Ontario schools surveyed listed music as a mandatory course in the timetable 1.

As a music enthusiast, these results were extremely upsetting. Therefore, I conducted a 50 person survey of people of different ages that had received at least two years of music education in an Ontario school in hopes of discovering the importance of music education from a variety of perspectives. I interviewed 10 people from each age group, these age groups being: middle school (grades 6-8), high school (grades 9-12), undergraduate university (ages 18- 22), 23- 29, and 40+. Each person answered six different questions addressing the most valuable aspect of their music education, the influence of their music education in other academic subjects, and the long term benefits of their music education.

The people I interviewed of all ages commented on the many benefits of their music education, these benefits being: improved memory, focus, listening skills, confidence, attention to detail, coordination, basic arithmetic, creativity, and many also commented that the dedicated practice music requires lead to improved time management skills and academic discipline. I noticed the largest appreciation for music education by the students that are currently participating in or adults who had participated in an instrumental music program. They commented that instrumental ensembles gave them the chance to learn an instrument which allowed for a greater understanding of music and provided them with an opportunity to make friends and work as a team.

Music is one of the only academic subjects that exercises the entire brain which is integral to a well balanced education. Therefore I ask the Ontario Government to make music education a priority in their spending. I also request that each elementary and secondary school in Ontario have funding for an instrumental music program. This would provide every student with the opportunity to learn an instrument as many parents cannot afford private music lessons. This would make students very involved in their music education thus would receive the many benefits of music education that my survey revealed. I also request that the Ontario Government ensure all new positions for music educators are filled with certified music teachers to ensure better instruction for students. A major responsibility of the Ontario Government is to provide the best for Ontario’s youth, but by denying many students music education, you are denying them enhanced social and academic skills and a well rounded education which is failing an important responsibility.

Sincerely,
Stacey

Letter from a Student Advocate – to Minster of Education in Ontario

June 8, 2010

April 13, 2010

Honourable Leona Dombrowsky
Minster of Education
Ministry of Education
900 Bay Street, 22nd Floor
Mowat Block
Toronto, ON M7A 1L2

Dear Mrs. Dombrowsky,

I am a grade 12 student at Cawthra Park Secondary School in Mississauga, ON. Cawthra Park is one of the two schools in the Peel District School Board with a Regional Arts Program in which I major in instrumental music. I attend this school because I have a passion for music and it is one of the only secondary schools in my area that has a quality music program. I find it incredibly disheartening that the Ministry of Education is inadequately funding music education in both elementary and secondary schools.

The Coalition for Music Education in Canada conducted a national survey in 2005 to examine the state of Canada’s music programs. This survey concluded that Ontario had the weakest music programs in Canada out of all the provinces and territories. The survey revealed that out of all the Ontario schools surveyed, both elementary and secondary, 25% of music teachers were not certified to teach music. Music education in Ontario had also suffered the largest reduction in government funding. The survey also discovered that music education is poorly assimilated into the curriculum as only 58% of all the Ontario schools surveyed listed music as a mandatory course in the timetable 1.

As a music enthusiast, these results were extremely upsetting. Therefore, I conducted a 50 person survey of people of different ages that had received at least two years of music education in an Ontario school in hopes of discovering the importance of music education from a variety of perspectives. I interviewed 10 people from each age group, these age groups being: middle school (grades 6-8), high school (grades 9-12), undergraduate university (ages 18- 22), 23- 29, and 40+. Each person answered six different questions addressing the most valuable aspect of their music education, the influence of their music education in other academic subjects, and the long term benefits of their music education.

The people I interviewed of all ages commented on the many benefits of their music education, these benefits being: improved memory, focus, listening skills, confidence, attention to detail, coordination, basic arithmetic, creativity, and many also commented that the dedicated practice music requires lead to improved time management skills and academic discipline. I noticed the largest appreciation for music education by the students that are currently participating in or adults who had participated in an instrumental music program. They commented that instrumental ensembles gave them the chance to learn an instrument which allowed for a greater understanding of music and provided them with an opportunity to make friends and work as a team.

Music is one of the only academic subjects that exercises the entire brain which is integral to a well balanced education. Therefore I ask the Ministry of Education to make music education a priority in their spending. I also request that each elementary and secondary school in Ontario have funding for an instrumental music program. This would provide every student with the opportunity to learn an instrument as many parents cannot afford private music lessons. This would make students very involved in their music education thus would receive the many benefits of music education that my survey revealed. I also request that the Ministry of Education ensure all new positions for music educators are filled with certified music teachers to ensure better instruction for students. A major responsibility of the Ministry of Education is to provide the best for Ontario’s youth, but by denying many students music education, you are denying them enhanced social and academic skills and a well rounded education which is failing an important responsibility.

Sincerely,
Stacey