It Takes a Village: How Communities Drive Change for Music Education

July 11, 2022

MusiCounts is so proud of all that we’ve been able to do this year in our mission to make music education inclusive, sustainable, and accessible for every kid across Canada. During the 21-22 school year, we awarded over $1.4 million to underserved schools, community organizations, and individuals, launched three new teaching resources to help bridge the gap to music education in classrooms, celebrated a maverick music educator and an inspiring philanthropist, and so much more. Music cultivates a sense of community, and as such, it makes sense that we rely on dedicated community fundraisers and advocates spreading the good word and driving change; today, we’re thanking them.

There’s no doubt that community-based fundraising has faced significant challenges over the past two years as a result of the pandemic. While there were several periods of time where restrictions meant people couldn’t host in-person concerts and events, we were very fortunate to have worked with innovative fundraisers who found unique ways to rally their communities in support of MusiCounts. Last fall, Musora Media tapped into their online community through a global matching campaign promoted through an epic drum solo and ended up raising over $75,000 for the MusiCounts Band Aid Program! High-schooler Sam Grant used his guitar to pay it – and play it – forward by busking at Ottawa’s Byward Market and donating the proceeds to MusiCounts in the hopes of giving other kids across Canada the same chance that he’s had to learn and love music.

Every single fundraising effort has accumulated to make an enormous impact for music education in Canada. MusiCounts allocated $870,000 to 77 schools through the MusiCounts Band Aid Program this year, much of which wouldn’t have been possible without community giving. Canada’s Great Kitchen Party (CGKP) has been a steadfast supporter of MusiCounts over the last five years, helping us provide grants to 65 schools across Canada to date. Exshaw School in Exshaw, AB was one of those schools this year; thanks to CGKP’s commitment, they’ll be able to meet the needs and interests of students by purchasing guitars, MIDI controller keyboards, headphones, and microphones to introduce a new guitar and music production program at the school. Bandzoogle’s support of MusiCounts this year helped St. Mary Catholic Elementary School in Welland, ON purchase Orff instruments to build the foundation for music education for younger students, as well as a class set of ukuleles for older students who are interested in building on those skills but wouldn’t have otherwise had the chance.

There are many creative ways in which community members can come together to make a difference through MusiCounts! Heartbeat Percussion’s in-kind donation of two Paragon Stage II Drum Sets provided early bird prizing to two lucky MusiCounts Band Aid Program applicant schools this year; they’ll be used by a generation’s worth of students. Another way to make a long-term impact is by becoming a MusiCounts MusicMaker. These monthly donors are crucial members of our community, and have demonstrated how dedication can make a world of a difference. Thanks to their contributions, which start at just $10/month, we were able to support elementary-aged programming at Princess Elizabeth School in Saint John, NB, a school serving a lower-income population and many New Canadian students.

We’re profoundly grateful for the support we’ve received this year, but there is still so much to do to ensure that music education remains within reach of every kid in Canada for many years to come. If you share our belief that every child deserves the opportunity to experience the life-changing power of music, learn more about how you can fundraise on MusiCounts’ behalf, becoming a MusiCounts MusicMaker, or other ways you can get involved today.

Thank You to the Community Fundraisers & Advocates That Supported MusiCounts This Year