Message from Eric Favaro, Board Chair

Each year at our annual Board retreat we say good-bye to retiring Board members, while at the same time we welcome new ones to take their place. This year, our Past Chair, Norman Mould (BC), retired after ten years of dedicated service to the Coalition. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will keep us riveted on our vision and mission for the organization. In addition, another member of the Executive, Jane Chapman-Klein (ON), completed her three- year term, and we will continue to build on her contributions, particularly in the area of Marketing and Communications. We also said good-bye to Genevieve Cimon (ON) who played an important role on the Membership portfolio, and Janine Waines (MB) who represented the younger generation of music educators. On behalf of the Board and music educators, students and parents across Canada, I express my sincere gratitude to all four, and I wish them well in their future endeavours.

To replace these outgoing Board members, we have skilled individuals who will be joining us for the next four years. Mark Reid (BC) has been the CMEA/Acme representative on the Coalition Board through an affiliation agreement, and now begins a three-year term as a Board member. In addition, he will assume an Executive Committee role as Secretary. Scott Morin (AB) joins us and will bring valuable experience and expertise from the music industry as well as marketing and communications. David Peretz-Larochelle (QC) has assumed a youth representative position. David will begin his first year teaching music in Montreal, and many will recognize him from our Music Monday webcasts and videos. Kirsten McLaine (PE) is incoming President of CMEA/Acme, and in that role she will sit on our Board for three years as their official representative, replacing Mark Reid.

With our growing organization, there are opportunities but there are also challenges. With the expertise we have around the Board table, I am confident that we will continue to affect change as we work toward our mission to raise 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. 

Music Makes Us - National Board of Directors

  • Eric Favaro, Chair (NS)
  • Rob Barg, Vice-Chair/Treasurer (ON)
  • Mark Reid, Secretary (BC)
  • Cy James (ON)
  • Alison Kenny-Gardhouse (AB)
  • Kirsten Maclaine, CMEA Affiliate (PE)
  • Eric Marshall, Chair, Awards Portfolio (MB)
  • Laura Lee Matthie (ON)
  • Digger MacDougall (ON)
  • Andrew Mercer, Chair, Music Monday Portfolio (NL)
  • Scott Morin (AB)
  • David Peretz-Larochelle, Chair, Youth4Music Portfolio (BC)
  • Don Quarles, Chair, Advocacy (Resources/Tools) Portfolio (PE)

Are you interested in becoming involved? Let us know – info@musicmakesus.ca

Message from a Retiring Board Member - Norman Mould

    About twenty years ago I realized two things.

    One was that, if it were not for our local high school’s music program, my elder daughter could easily become a high school drop out. The other was that, for all its history of excellence and student enthusiasm, this inestimable program was leading a precarious existence. Every time the school district had a funding crisis, so-called “non essential subjects” came under the gun.

    Like a lot of parents faced with those realizations, my first reaction was to mutter “Somebody ought to do something”. After a little digging I realized that that “somebody” was the Coalition for Music Education. It has archives of research and advocacy materials that help concerned parents fight to keep music in their schools. It has programs like Music Monday that keep school music in the public eye and the Principals of Music Awards that help to remind school administrators that they have the power to foster and support healthy music programs delivered by music specialists.

    If you are a music educator reading this, please consider finding a way to get this message into the hands of the parents of your students. (You could also ask our office to send you a supply of membership brochures to distribute at your next school concert.)

    If you are the parent of a music student, please read the next three paragraphs carefully.

    Although some progress has been made in the past twenty years, the need to protect (and in some cases restore) our music programs remains a priority. The Coalition does good work in this regard. But it needs your help to continue. In order to be sustainable, it needs you to put some money where your concerns are.

    Fifty dollars would make a significant difference to our ability to carry on our advocacy efforts. The first $25 would make you a member of the Coalition, with access to all sorts of free information and resources. The second $25 would be a charitable donation for which you would receive a tax receipt. And that would enable us to add you to our database of supporters. Advocacy is a numbers game: decision-makers are impressed when they can see that there is more than one squeaky wheel.

    If you have reached the point where you feel that someone needs to do something to keep music in your school, please come and join us. Together we can make a difference.

    What you’re telling us!

     “Promoting music in schools has uplifted the importance of music in a community that has been mostly sports driven. Now our school is becoming more balanced between the sports world and arts world thanks to Music Mondays!”

    “Great community-building event. Love the songs and all the resources.”

    “This is a wonderful advocacy tool for music education right across the country. My students look forward to being a part of it every year.”

    “We think Music Monday celebrations bring the nation together and help spread the word about music advocacy. Keep up the fantastic work!”

    “I love it! The students are always pumped up and love the songs, year after year. Some are even talking about hoping to be able to write a song that would be used in the future.”

    “Thank you for all the work you put into Music Monday and giving Music education such a positive and growing platform.”

    MUSIC MONDAY Tell us more!

    Thank you to those who’ve completed the recent data survey and given us feedback about this year’s Music Monday. If you haven’t done this yet, please take just a few minutes of your time and let us know about your group and your thoughts for how to improve Music Monday- http://fluidsurveys.com/s/MusicMonday2015/


    Calgary and Montreal celebrate Music Monday for the country!

    We proudly present the full Showcase events planned by local teams for each city to celebrate Music Monday this year. You can see the full musical performances and speakers. Check out these videos.

    Our National Lead Reporter – Céline Peterson

    Why Music Is Stronger Than Any Other Life Force"

    Every passionate person in the world has a story about what drives them. Every artist has a story about when they realized that the power of creativity changed their life. Every person on this planet with a strong personal connection to music can tell you exactly when they realized that whatever they happened to be listening to carried a message larger than could be explained or determined in that single moment.

    For me, that moment came when I was a teenager. I was sitting in my living room with my Dad and he was playing an old Nat King Cole record. As he was quite sick and very fatigued in this stage of his life, not an hour earlier did he look weak and exhausted. As soon as the music came on, it was as if he were 40 years younger and all he wanted to do was discuss the power behind the music and the reasons he idolized Nat throughout his whole life. After that instance, I had many more moments in my life where music proved to be arguably the most powerful and emotional force on this earth.

    Because I feel so strongly about this power that music holds, I have developed a passion towards opening up the world to the importance of young people’s exposure to the arts. I don’t want to hear my young nieces tell me how much they hate playing recorder in school because it’s boring and repetitive. I want to hear how they love going to music class because they get to play the instrument of their choosing and really excel at it. I want to know that once they’ve finished their day at school, there are endless options of after-school groups and gatherings based around music that they can be involved in. Lastly, I want the excitement and sometimes overwhelmingly emotional connection that music gives us to be encouraged and met with an equal amount of enthusiasm and the stimulation to pursue those feelings and explore their meaning.

    I knew which music I liked from a young age but it was only as I got older that I started to really listen to lyrics; that is when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I connected with the beauty that came from people’s pain. The power behind a love story, that could only be properly expressed when accompanied with a melody (whether simple or complex) that guided you along the person’s journey as if you were right there beside them.

    There are some people in this world that will put their musical tastes in a box and only listen to a certain genre because they believe it to be far superior to other styles. My frustration in this comes to life when I see musicians or teachers with this attitude. With musicians, the frustration comes from knowing there is a good chance that there are young people out there being influenced by a person with close-minded musical beliefs. This falls over into why I am frustrated when I see teachers projecting their close-minded musical opinions on youth. If you have someone mentoring you musically, and telling you that there is only one genre of music worth listening to, that can cause people to discount a lot of important artists, melodies, and lyrics in their lifetime. Going to school is supposed to prepare you for life in a world full of diversity in culture, business, and arts. Music is an important part of that and being sheltered from various styles or genres of music will discourage youth from looking further into the Mary Poppins bag of music. If you are forced to only listen to (or play) a style of music that does not entice you or spark curiosity, you are not given the chance to experience the impact that music can have on your life in many different ways.

    I live for the moments when, out of nowhere in a venue full of people, you get lost in the magic happening in the room; And the heart and soul of the performing musician(s) is so strongly felt that it is as if they are clinging to you.

    As young people, it is our job to share this passion for music with others. Youth Voices are louder and more powerful than anything. Use that power and share with your community and abroad, the joyful, exhilarating, magic that is music. Dazzle them with your creative expression. You never know whom you may connect with in an unexpected time and place. This powerful and expressive energy can bring a touch of positivity to everyone who is touched by the magic, therefore making the world an exceptionally brighter place.

    "Music is the language of love, strength, and honor. Life shall follow music's example." - Stewart Goodyear

    Introducing our new Youth4Music website! - Youth4Music.ca

    We are excited to present to you our new website that reflects the guidance of youth leaders from across Canada. The website is a platform youth voices. You will find ways to become involved. We showcase articles and videos by youth leaders, and we will soon start up a Forum for discussion to engage youth about the importance of music education in their schools and communities.


    • A Grade 6 choir leader and music assistant for the school music program
    • A high school graduate accepted to UBC’s Sauder School of Business as a Chancellor’s Scholar
    • A volunteer at the Music and Arts Program of a children’s Rehabilitation Hospital
    • A Grade 6 saxophone player who’s an active member of her church home
    • An outspoken advocate for music who already has some impressive media experience

    What do these 5 people have in common? They’re all young leaders who were nominated by their school communities to become this year’s NUFSICISUM Youth Leadership award winners. To learn more about each of them, check out their bios NUFSICISUM We’re featuring articles from two winners this month. More to follow.

    Samantha Lavin - What learning music means to me:

    For many years, music has been a creative outlet in my rigorous academic schedule. Through music, I have been immersed in the realms of collaborative and professional musicianship and I have been able to develop my self-confidence. When I was exposed to the exquisiteness of opera at the age of 14, I was immediately captivated by the finesse, patience and dedication that it required. Opera has allowed me to overcome the raw honesty and vulnerability of singing in front of others. Taking risks in music performance has given me the opportunity to create a positive environment for my growth.

    I am not only truly honoured, but also humbled to have received this NUFSICISUM award. The Music Department at York House School has played a substantial role in the development of my self-identity and my leadership skills. It has been a great privilege to be able to contribute to the YHS Music Department.  

    Nhi Trinh Le - Future Music Council President

    Since music was introduced to me as a class in school, it has become a large part of my life. I first learned how to play an instrument outside of school with piano lessons, and I became very interested in learning to recreate music on my own, but in middle school I experienced how fun it is to learn music with a class. I really enjoyed learning another instrument and playing along with other students, and decided to continue with it into high school at York Memorial Collegiate Institute. Since then, I have learned how to play several instruments because of the many music classes that were available at my school. Being able to take a class that focuses on playing music is really different from the other academic classes of school. Music became a break from the stressful work of school and every music class has been a class I enjoyed going to and has become one of my favourite classes every year.

    Learning how to read, write, and play music has showed me how to create my own music, or make music with others that enjoy it as much as I do. I loved making music and playing together with students in class, so I decided to get involved in ensembles, such as our school Intermediate Band, Concert Band, and Stage Band. I am normally very shy to share and present in front of others, but through joining ensembles that performed at our school concerts and community events I have been able to perform more comfortably.

    I have met many great people who love and enjoy music as much as I do through the music program at York Memorial. One of the amazing people I've met through my music classes was my nominator for this award. I am very honoured that he recognizes my involvement in music as a great contribution to my school and community. Receiving this award makes me very happy knowing that I get to help my school music program and further support it for future music students. I look forward to continue contributing and dedicating my time to the York Memorial music program as the future Music Council President and I hope to help make music as enjoyable to other students as it is for me.

    CMEA 2015 National Conference / Congrès national ACME 2015   

    “Connecting The Community”  July 9-11, 2015

    Delta Winnipeg Hotel, Winnipeg Canada

    The Event for Music Educators!

    Join Music Education specialists, icons and professionals from Coast to Coast for TWO EXCITING DAYS of professional development, networking, music education advocacy and celebration.

    This National Conference is the first event of its kind in Canada in over 20 years. Presented in partnership with the Manitoba Music Educators’ Association (MMEA), the event connects music educators across disciplines, provinces and territories for career inspiration, industry research and new insights.

    Why Should You Attend?

    • Connect and build new relationships with music education icons, mentors, colleagues, thought leaders and experts from across Canada and Internationally
    • Get up to speed on key trends, perspectives and research findings in music education
    • Develop and enhance your professional skill set across multiple topic areas
    • Experience interactive and engaging sessions, performances and presenters
    • Connect with reputable Industry suppliers to discover new technologies, products and services
    • Learn from sought after, expert speakers and presenters for professional insights, results and key takeaways
    • Vendors - meet potential clients and partners across Canada
    • 2015 Keynote Speaker: Susan Aglukark



    • Influence the national agenda to keep music in schools
    • Priority access to upcoming Coalition webinars and resources, i.e. learning and teaching modules, toolkits and research
    • Showcase what is working well in our school music programs
    • Engage in an on-line congregation of Coalition members to share and learn
    • Show Canada and the world who supports music in our schools
    • Voting privileges on Coalition priorities and Board membership

    We will launch a membership drive this summer. Becoming a member helps support stellar programs like Music Monday, Principals of Music Awards and Youth4Music, as well as research and youth leadership. 

    Facebook Twitter Youtube


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

    Phone: 416.298.2871