The MCMA believes that music is for everyone. In 2005-06, the MCMA launched its Music Equals Program to make music accessible to those facing economic and social barriers. With this mandate, the Program has reached close to 5000 students. It has provided music instruction where it otherwise would not exist and has given musical opportunity to those who would otherwise not have the chance.
Divided into three parts, the Music Equals Program brings music to the community — the Strings and Rock Program offers music instruction in the school setting, the Bursary Program brings disadvantaged youth into its own facility and the Concert Series shares the talents of students and the faculty with its neighbours. All parts of the Music Equals Program seek to change lives by taking music to the streets and schools of Winnipeg.
“Michael was a volatile middle school student whose behavioural issues were so out of control, he was relegated to walking the hallways with a TA during school hours. He was not allowed in class with other students and wouldn’t speak to anyone. When instructor Marion Williams reached out to Michael to join the Inner City Strings program, he refused at first, but soon was able to find his voice through his study of basic violin technique and fiddle tunes. After the exposure to the focus and discipline that learning instrument provides, Michael was not only able to return to the classroom, but went on to graduate to an arts high school, where he became a mentor to other children facing social or behavioural barriers in their lives.”
Principal, William Whyte School