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.
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.