If you’re near a radio on Monday, tune into CBC Radio for 25 hours of music and talk programming dedicated to Music Monday.
Four years ago, the Coalition for Music Education in Canada established Music Monday—the first Monday in May—to highlight the importance of music education in schools. Kids and school staff across the country are encouraged to go outside and play a short concert. The main focus of Music Monday is to join schools across Canada through the same piece of music that they’ll play at the same time: 10 a.m. Pacific, 11 a.m. Mountain, 12 p.m. Central, 1 p.m. Eastern, 2 p.m. Atlantic and 2:30 in Newfoundland.
This year, CBC Radio has hopped on board the idealistic movement. Radio One (99.1 FM) and Radio 2 (94.1 FM) will have various documentary-style programs from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The main event, however, will take place at 1 p.m. when Radio 2 will air a live performance of four area children’s choirs singing “Our Song,” the theme song of Music Monday, from CBC headquarters here in the city. The four choirs are the Cardinal Carter Academy Singers, Peel District Intermediate Honour Choir, York Region Children’s Chorus, and Agincourt Collegiate Institute.
At 10 p.m. on The Signal, host Laurie Brown will be talking to Friendly Rich (a.k.a. Richard Marsella) about alternative music-making for kids.
The experimental composer founded the 8-year-old Brampton Indie Arts Festival in his hometown to reverse the exodus of culturally-minded kids to the city, and to celebrate the suburbs as a hub for arts-related activity.
“For my masters degree at the University of Toronto, I was studying the work of composer-educators like Murray Schafer and the work done at the Langley School and Manhattanville Music Project,” says Marsella, also president of Music Roots Seminars. “These alternative methods were resonating with me, telling me there ought to be a better option than recorder! Kids love noise-making and the concept of anarchy in music.”
Music Roots is a non-profit organization that exists to inspire school-aged children through alternative music making. “We could be more imaginative in our approach to music-making in the classroom,” suggests Marsella, who is attempting to pilot a project with Peel Waste Management bringing recycled junk into the class and challenging students to build instruments. “The more we have living composers working in the classroom, the more we will foster genuine creativity in the classroom, and on the streets.”
Photo by Marc Lostracco.