The Music Industry and the Music Classroom: A Perfect Harmony
July 26, 2022
2022 marks MusiCounts’ 25th anniversary, and we’ve been celebrating in a big way! This school year, we’ve provided over $1.4 million in funding to underserved schools and community organizations across Canada, and have launched three new teaching resources to help teachers facilitate important national dialogue about music education. We’ve also had the pleasure of recognizing some very special people, including a remarkable educator, an inspiring philanthropist, and an amazing group of post-secondary students. We believe that the health and vitality of the music industry starts in the music classroom; thanks to our Canadian music industry partners who share this belief, we’ve been able to provide support today to shape the music industry of tomorrow.
Music adds possibilities. Thanks to music education champions like the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA), we can put instruments into the hands of kids who need them most, giving young people the chance to discover their love of music and all of the opportunities that come with it. Through the support of our music industry partners, we were able to provide these opportunities at 77 schools in 2022, like Mary Street Community School in Oshawa, ON. With Durham Radio’s help, this elementary school with virtually no inventory of their own will be able to order Orff instruments to make music education accessible for the varied ages and abilities of the students.
Our mission to make music education inclusive, accessible, and sustainable for every child in Canada means creating learning opportunities to keep music alive in the classroom when instruments are out of reach. Our partners at TikTok have helped us bridge this gap through their steadfast support of MusiCounts Learn resources; by backing teaching guides like #BlackMusicMatters: Hip-Hop and Social Justice In Canada and Kanata: Contemporary Indigenous Artists and Their Music, they’ve helped provide educators with a straightforward, accessible mechanism to engage students in meaningful conversations about important topics in - and through - Canadian music.
While not every young person who receives music education will go on to pursue a career in music, those that do might be discouraged by the barriers to entry which can often feel prohibitive. Our network of Canadian music industry experts have helped us lift the veil on the inner workings of the business, giving young people the confidence and context they need to cultivate their paths. Partners like Margaret McGuffin (Music Publishers Canada) and Keziah Myers (ADVANCE) facilitated sessions for our 2021 MusiCounts Accelerate Scholarship Mentorship Experience, offering invaluable insights and creating lasting connections. One of the scholarship recipients, Anastasia Petrova, took this connection to the next level by being selected as a participant for the Music Publishers Canada 2022 Women in the Studio Accelerator program! When our partners open doors, they’re helping us create a brighter future for the next generation of Canada’s music industry.
Despite all of the evidence that music enriches lives and provides opportunities for young people, music education remains chronically underfunded in Canada. As such, we often depend on artists to add their voices to the choir of advocates for MusiCounts to spread awareness, raise funds, and drive change. We’ve been so fortunate to work with some of Canada’s finest musicians, spanning many genres and generations with the shared belief that every kid should have the chance to learn and love music that they’ve had. Artists got involved in many ways this year, like when JP Saxe helped us spread good news or when Taes Leavitt (of Splash’N Boots) authored a MusiCounts Learn teaching resource!
From left to right: Taes Leavitt (author of the MusiCounts Learn Big Heart Journey), Matt Webb (Marianas Trench).
Matt Webb (of Marianas Trench) has been a longstanding artist advocate for MusiCounts, including this year as a music industry mentor and a dedicated adjudicator for MusiCounts’ applications. “As a young, aspiring musician, there was no greater feeling than walking into my Grade 5 band class and grasping my hands around the cool, brass slide of a glistening new trombone,” Matt said, when asked why he goes the extra mile for MusiCounts. “As my teacher’s eyes, and mine, lit up, there was no way of knowing that the flatulent, spit-laden tones I would create on this day would one day lead me to glorious performances in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans, all over the world. There is no limit to what an instrument can do for a young kid. I adjudicate for MusiCounts to help make these musical tools more accessible to those who dream.”
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 your company can support MusiCounts, using your platform as an artist to advocate for MusiCounts, or other ways you can get involved today.