“I was inspired by my music teacher”: Élisabeth Bouchard-Bernier

February 27, 2024

Meet Élisabeth Bouchard-Bernier, 2024 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, Presented by Anthem Entertainment, Nominee


Career inspiration can start from anywhere, including the music classroom! As a student, Élisabeth was persuaded by her music teacher to become one herself. Now with years of teaching experience under her belt, she’s truly seen the impact of music education on youth first hand and is a committed advocate for it.

With a Bachelor's degree in Music in hand, Élisabeth started teaching full-time at her current school, École des Explorateurs in Malartic, QC in 2015. She is known for taking innovative approaches to her music programming.

She experiments with a variety of unlikely instruments like cups and buckets, alongside more traditional things like xylophones, drums, recorders and guitars. Élisabeth adapts to the identities and interests of her students, integrating music derived from their cultures, Western popular music, even creative things like basketball-inspired activities for those into sports.

She has also got her hand in event management, organizing concerts and fundraising events in support of her students and music programming. By allowing her class to perform in public, they are motivated to practice harder and gain experience playing their instruments for an audience.

Élisabeth truly values every relationship she has with her students and welcomes all that comes with them. As their music teacher, she wants to steer them on the path of their musical journey and build their teamwork, trust and collaboration between each other.

Her most well-known innovation is the use of a “quiet corner” within her music class, meant for students to spend time with their instruments in a noiseless environment where they can practice attentive listening and regulate their emotions if things are feeling a bit chaotic or overwhelming.

Outside of the classroom, she is involved in the teachers’ union and helps with the professional development committee. Beyond the school, at the Federation of Music Educators of Quebec (Fédération des Associations des Musiciens-Éducateurs du Québec, or FAMEQ), Élisabeth is a member of the executive committee. Her “quiet corner” approach has become a movement. Following her conference workshop about the topic in 2022, many music educators reached out to Élisabeth to ask how they can implement this into their own classrooms. She knows that music educators are often isolated in their schools, so coming together during these events and collaborating with other teachers in these moments is very meaningful to the music education community.

Élisabeth Bouchard-Bernier has two objectives when it comes to her teaching career: “sharing my passion for music and fostering joy in playing together”. We’re sure all the students, school and music educators of Quebec can agree she has definitely aced both goals.


Élisabeth Bouchard-Bernier of École des Explorateurs in Malartic, Quebec is one of five inspirational educators nominated for the 2024 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, presented by Anthem Entertainment. The award recognizes an exceptional music teacher with a $10,000 cash prize, a generous donation to their school through the MusiCounts Band Aid Program, 2-3 MusiCounts Legacy Grants made in their name, and a JUNO statuette.

The MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award was established in 2005 to recognize and honour an exceptional Canadian music teacher each year. This award is generously presented by Anthem Entertainment. To date, this award has celebrated the accomplishments of 18 music educators across Canada who strive to preserve the livelihood of music education in their school and community.

The MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award is presented by