“The physically largest young boy in our school never felt like he fit in; he always walked with his head down and never made eye contact. After participating in the Music Equals musical theatre program he now walks with his head held high. He sees himself as an artist and someone who can accomplish things.”
“I would say the music has changed their lives it’s given them a voice. It’s given them a chance to express themselves, understand themselves and their own special gifts. We have kids who are totally motivated to come to school because of the music program.”
“Music makes my feelings disappear and makes me feel calm and makes my soul free.”
“I can express my emotions in a way I can’t with words.”
“I never knew I could play until I tried.”
“This class was awesome! The song makes me happy. I like the words. It was my first time standing on a stage, and I was feeling kind of shy, but the song really helped me through it. I want to perform on stage again and again!”
“Many of the seniors do not have the means or transportation to attend concerts outside of their building so they appreciate musicians coming to them. They like to hear students perform and feel good about supporting them.”
“The highlight of the performance was watching the residents with dementia and memory issues tapping their toes and rocking with the music and smiling and even singing along with songs they knew!”
The physically largest young boy in our school never felt like he fit in; he always walked with his head down and never made eye contact. After participating in the musical theatre program he now walks with his head held high. He sees himself as an artist and someone who can accomplish things.
The music program has helped increase students’ confidence and connects them with the school because it’s something they enjoy participating in. The increase in attendance rates also increases their academic performance because they are receiving a consistent program on a daily basis.
During a day of severe weather (snow storm) when many of the City's events were shut down, the COTE Community Support Worker suggested to students that the music instructor may not make it to the program. However, they protested and began setting up instruments anyway, advocating for the importance of their program and saying that missing a session was not an option. The instructor ended up arriving and the program was facilitated as usual, but these are students who do not commonly raise their voices to advocate for their own programming and doing so was wonderfully unusual.
Most of our children have never been exposed to instruments such as the violin. Not only does the program provide exposure to a wonderful instrument and culture, but it provides a benefit to all our children involved. Educationally, the benefit encourages music learning in the school, especially for those students that may be slightly academically challenged. Personally and socially, the benefit encourages teamwork, respect and cooperation. Musically the benefit helps keep students excited about music class with the hope that it extends outside of the classroom.