Music Makes Us – Inspire

And so it begins…another school year with music teachers inspiring foundations of success for the lives of young people!

We’ve already heard from people who are proactively preparing to engage in celebration of music and youth leadership opportunities. Why not start this school year by considering how you will engage in building awareness about the value of learning and making music for all young people in Canada. Some ideas:

  • share information with parents about the Coalition’s work – pass along our website and ask them to sign up for the newsletter
  • put Music Monday in your school calendar – start up a Music Monday committee in your school that provides youth leadership, including a Roving Reporter
  • share information about Youth4Music with your students and young friends –ask them to sign up!
  • Consider nominating your Principal for a Principals of Music Award!

“We already have May 2/16 booked in on our school calendar for Music Monday!”

“At the beginning of school, I’m going to book a computer lab so my students can go onto the Youth4Music website to see what they could do to make a difference for music this year and then get them all to sign up!”


    During the past few years, the Coalition has been taking a pro-active approach to developing potential research partnerships. There have been several opportunities that have arisen as a result of our on-going discussion with CMEA/ACME, MusicCounts, and Music Canada. We all share a need for having accurate data that presents a true picture of music education across Canada, and by working together, we feel this is much more doable. Currently, we have a Memorandum of Understanding with CMEA/ACME for a joint research committee. Eric Favaro and Ben Bolden co-chair this committee, and during the CMEA/ACME conference in Winnipeg in July they met to discuss topics to pursue. Over the coming weeks the committee will meet to identify a specific research project to undertake for this year. In addition, we will continue to dialogue with the other organizations to identify potential funding sources and research topics to be studied.

    As a funding requirement for Wise Voice for Music (Ontario), we have made a commitment to the Ontario Trillium Foundation to carry out a study to summarize the findings of the three-year project. Surveys have been distributed to music educators, administrators, students, parents, community musicians, and others. Dr. Ann Patteson from Kingston has been contracted to collect the data, analyse it, and write our final report. We look forward to the first presentation of this report at the OMEA conference in early November.

    Finally, the Coalition has been invited to partner with two other research groups seeking funding for research projects. We will continue to work with them, and we will be reporting on the progress when it becomes available next spring.

    Do you live in Ontario?

      We think you have something important to say about music education in this province!

      We are wrapping up a 3-year Wise Voices for Music community engagement project in Ontario, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and with support from the NAMM Foundation. As part of this project, the Coalition is conducting research with respect to the state of music education in Ontario. The information gathered in these questionnaires will be used to shape the Coalition’s advocacy efforts and to develop province-wide strategies and priorities. We will share the results with the OMEA, and present our findings at a session at the iINSPIRE annual OMEA conference in November. The questionnaire only takes a few moments to complete and they can be submitted anonymously.

      Choose the category that best describes your situation: Student (Elementary, Middle, and HS), Parent, Teacher, Principal/VP, School Board Arts/Music Consultant, Musician, Municipal Culture Planner, Faculty of Education, or Community-based Music Organization

      As an expression of our gratitude, we would like to offer you the opportunity to enter a draw for a $100 gift certificate to your local music store. At the end of the questionnaire, you will find instructions about how to enter.

      Ontario community events

      Do you live in London, York Region, Huntsville, Toronto or Hamilton? Then, join us at a Wise Voices for Music event in your community. Tell us about the successes for music in your area. Work with us to build local strategies to address challenges. Let us know of your interest by emailing wisevoices@musicmakesus.ca and we will make sure to send you an invitation.

      CMEA 2015 National Conference Recap


      In their message to delegates, Conference Co-Chairs Regan Livingston and Tanya Dirksen set the stage by calling on the music education community in Canada “to celebrate diversity of music-making that exists across our country, to acknowledge the many ways that music shapes who we are and our communities, and to explore ways that we can continue to inspire and bring together people around the joy of making music.” If we were to assess the overall success of these goals, without a doubt the conference would receive top marks.

      This was the first time CMEA/ACME hosted a national conference in more than 20 years, and it truly affirmed the importance of having a national event to bring together music educators across the country to network, share, and enhance and build their teaching competencies. Co-hosted by CMEA/ACME and the Manitoba Music Educators’ Association, there truly was a vibrant spirit among the delegates and a feeling of optimism and excitement was contagious. Bravo to the co-chairs and the organizing committee for their efforts and hard work in making that happen.

      The Coalition for Music Education had a significant role as sponsoring partner of the opening reception held at the Museum of Human Rights. During that event, CMEA/ACME awards were presented, and included in those were the Builders Award, presented to Holly Nimmons, our Executive Director, and the Jubilate Award of Merit, presented to the Coalition. This indeed was a proud moment, and represented recognition for the tremendous work done over the past twenty years to build our organization as a vital advocacy support for music educators, administrators, parents and students across the country. Another highlight was the opening address by Susan Aglukark who talked about the importance of music as a source of strength as she overcame obstacles in moving beyond a difficult period in her life. But by far, the most exciting part of the event for me was seeing nine past presidents of CMEA/ACME, most of whom I had worked with during my time on the CMEA Board. During the Leadership Legacy Reception, it was great fun to reminisce while looking at photo albums of past conferences, meetings and special events of the association.

      Without a doubt, everyone left the conference inspired by the workshop sessions, panel discussions, industry displays and performances. What better way to begin the summer holidays! Congratulations to CMEA/ACME for reviving their national conference and for their important role in the continuing professional development of music educators across Canada.

      “The contribution of the Coalition for Music Education in Canada to music education in Canada, and beyond, is unparalleled. The people of the Coalition are creative, inspiring and innovative. The leadership shown by these individuals and manifested in ongoing action is breathtaking.” CMEA Past President, Mark Reid

      New logo

      We’re excited about our new logo, designed by Madalyn Fewster for our Youth4Music Nufsicisum leadership awards

      Youth Voices – Nufsicisum Award winner

      Shannon McLaren, President of Music Council speaks out 

      “What we learn by picking up our instruments can be applied to so many situations elsewhere. Through band, I’ve learned the importance of responsibility; that your negative choices can impact the work of others. I’ve learned to be confident and to play out even if it means making a mistake. I’ve learned that making mistakes is normal, but it’s commitment to fixing them that sets you apart. I’ve learned to never be satisfied with the status quo and that change is good. School music programs must be protected because they let everyone have a chance to learn these valuable lessons, as well as countless others.”   READ FULL ARTICLE

      Youth Voices – Nufsicisum Award winner

      Stephanie Saibano – gifted grade 6 student speaks out 

      “To be a successful leader you need to have confidence, courage and love for what you’re doing.
      At my school I was given some amazing opportunities to show music leadership. Winning this award means so much to me and I will cherish it forever. I hope that I can inspire others to take action, show leadership, make music and have fun doing it.”  READ FULL ARTICLE

      ** Youth leadership opportunities **

        Join the Youth4Music network where you will discover some great leadership opportunities – host a Music Monday event, participate in a video or webinar, lead a roundtable in your community. Some roles are paid! Contact Anah Shabbar, National Youth Coordinator youthcoordinator@musicmakesus.ca

        WANTED – Exemplary Principals who support music in schools.

        Every year the Coalition for Music Education recognizes exemplary principals in Canada for their leadership and support of music programs in their schools - one recipient from each region (Eastern, Central and Western), as well as an award sponsored by the National Arts Centre for a recipient in Nunavut.

        The recipients each receive national recognition and a cash prize of $1,500 to be applied to their school music program. We are encouraging music educators, parents, and all supporters of school music to consider a principal in their area and submit a nomination for the award. The deadline for submissions is October 31st and winners will be announced November 30th.

        For more information on the Principals of Music Award, visit our website here

        Jennifer Caines

        Many thanks to Jennifer Caines who recently resigned from her role as Program Coordinator due to health concerns. Jennifer provided valuable support to the Board and to Coalition programs, especially the Wise Voices for Music project in Ontario. She will be missed! We wish her well in the next steps along her road to recovery.

        If you are interested in working with the Coalition team, check out this posting.


        CBC is vital to Canada. CBC has been an important partner for Music Monday. They co-commissioned official Music Monday songs such as I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) and Tomorrow is Coming, and they have been an important media partner to help bring the messages of celebrating music education to communities across Canada. Canadian Musician has been a champion for the Coalition, helping us when we first set up a web presence, including Coalition messages in their magazine and at events, and much more. Kudos to Canada Musician for the following initiative.

        A message from Canadian Musician

        Funding cuts are slowly killing the CBC and severely damaging the Canadian music industry. Canadian Musician magazine invites you and all members of the Canadian music industry to join us in taking a stance on this important issue.

        Sign the petition and share it widely at www.canadianmusician.com/cbc

        We have launched a petition and campaign to let those in power know that a properly-funded CBC is vital to the health of Canada’s music industry. We are calling on them to use their power and influence to reverse the $115 million funding cut to the public broadcaster and commit to supporting it now and in the future.

        For musicians, regardless of genre, there is no media outlet that will provide them the same coverage and audience reach as the CBC. For music fans, it could mean hearing far less home-grown talent at a time when Canada is creating more noteworthy music than ever. Canada has long had a reputation for punching above its weight with regards to exporting music, and the CBC has been a very big part of that success over the decades.

        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 and Music Monday. We recently received ongoing support from

          What’s next?

            We’re excited to announce that a new Music Makes Us website will be launched soon. We will be updating our resources and posting these to the website. Also, new research information is on its way.

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            P.O. Box 556    Toronto, Ontario    M1S 3C5

            Phone: 416.298.2871