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Music Schools BC

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The official blog of the British Columbia Association of Community Music Schools

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

The New Year is almost upon us. It has been quite a year for music education in BC with a few bright spots along the way.  It has been great to see some new initiatives and new schools opening in Vancouver with some renewed energy with the Vancouver Academy of Music under its new direction with Joseph Elworthy at the helm. Also a brand new school has opened in the downtown core, the VSO School of Music began operations this past September under the direction of Shaun Taylor.  Many of the Vancouver Symphony Musicians teach at this school, where as before many of them taught at Vancouver Academy. More importantly the two schools provide great teaching facilities, which has attracted some of the best musicians and educators in the province to teach at their facilities.

The cold reality is that because of the incredibly high real estate and housing costs in Vancouver, developing a home studio is really not as an attractive an option as in other parts of Canada. The truth is most musicians in Vancouver, unless they have spouses earning big incomes (obviously not as musicians); well, we live in condos, townhouses and apartments where strata laws prohibit activities such as operating a home music studio. And then of course if you do have a place to have a home studio then there are those pesky neighbours who object to hearing beginning students making those strange noises, and of course the endless parade of vehicle traffic through their neighbourhoods as parents drop off the kids.

The community music school is both a benefit to students and to faculty, as these wonderful new facilities such as the VSO school offer state of the art facilities with acoustic engineering, wonderful instruments for the pianists, and new performing spaces such as the new recital hall at the VSO School and the new black box theatre which has opened in the same building.

Providing a home, or a place for both artists and the general public to come together and experience the Joy of Music is what our nonprofit member schools are all about. Looking forward to carrying our mission forward in 2012.  Happy New Year everyone!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Choral singing program hits all the right notes

VANCOUVER— From Friday's Globe and Mail
Not many people have the nerve to sing in public. But imagine being a teenage boy whose voice is behaving badly as it finds its new range – and then standing up and singing out in front of an audience.
Daunting doesn’t even begin to describe it. Terrifying, more like.
Two years ago, the administration at Chor Leoni, Vancouver’s much-loved male-voice choir, decided there was a need to encourage younger males to try choral singing. The first MYVoice (Mobilizing Young Men’s Voices) program for males aged 12 to 20 was launched in spring of 2011 in Vancouver and New Westminster.
The 12-week program, which is free for the singers, involves weekly rehearsals, workshops and a day retreat, as well as three concerts. The budget for the 2012 season is $40,000 and the calendar includes two public performances with Chor Leoni.
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Merry Christmas from Canada's own Oscar Peterson
Happy Holidays to everyone!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Auditions - Dennis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra

The Dennis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra , presented by Denis Wick, London, is the premier honour concert band in Canada. The musical ensemble is comprised of 60+ members from across Canada who, after successful application, converge for a week of music education, history and celebration. During their week together, these students develop their musical talent, technique and skill while being immersed in peer workshops and master classes with clinicians from across North America. The band will present their 10th Anniversary Alumni Concert highlighting their music excellence on Saturday, May 19, 8:00 p.m. at The National Arts Centre, Southam Hall. Former Band Members attending the 10th Anniversary Alumni reunion will join the band on stage for the culmination of the concert.
Members are selected from auditions submitted from across Canada; most have performed with provincial honour bands from coast-to-coast. Previous members of the band have been awarded major scholarships, and have gone on to receive international recognition.
Participation in the band is free, and members receive tickets to all MusicFest concerts and clinics and access to the MusicFest Canada scholarship program.


Bryan StovellDr. Mark Hopkins and Dr. Gillian MacKay are pleased to announce that the guest soloist for the 2012 Dennis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra will be Dr. Jim Lebens, Brass Chairman, Laval University. The band will be joined by Dr. Lebens for 2 private rehearsals during their time in Ottawa.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tim Brown on creativity and play

At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play -- with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn't).

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Did you Know?

Did You Know?
Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are:
  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
  • 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
  • 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem
Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to:
  • Attend music, art, and dance classes nearly three times as frequently
  • Participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently
  • Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
  • Perform community service more than four times as often

    ("Living the Arts through Language + Learning: A Report on Community-based Youth Organizations," Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University and Carnegie Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching, Americans for the ArtsMonograph, November 1998)
The facts are that arts education...
  • makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has been proven to help level the "learning field" across socio-economic boundaries
    (Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School, James S. Catterall, The UCLA Imagination Project, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA, Americans for the Arts Monograph, January 1998)
  • has a measurable impact on at-risk youth in deterring delinquent behavior and truancy problems while also increasing overall academic performance among those youth engaged in afterschool and summer arts programs targeted toward delinquency prevention

    (YouthARTS Development Project, 1996, U.S. Department of Justice, National Endowment for the Arts, and Americans for the Arts)
Businesses understand that arts education...
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