bigsound instruments

Owen Sound: El Sistema Grey Bruce (The Big Sound) is delighted with the work that has been happening since it received a 10-month, $36,700 Seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2019. Thanks to the grant, the Big Sound is delivering an in-school Music and Movement program to Grade 1, 2 and 3 students at three Bluewater District School Board elementary schools in Owen Sound.

“I am very pleased to hear of the success of El Sistema Grey Bruce's 'The Big Sound' project. This unique program promotes musical instruction, social development and, most importantly, fun for students enrolled. I look forward to hearing about the future success of 'The Big Sound' for years to come as well as listening to all the great musicians inspired by their participation in this program," said Bill Walker, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.

The schools involved with this innovative music program were Hillcrest Elementary School, Alexandra Community School, and East Ridge Community School. Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, the Big Sound hired professional musicians and bought a wide variety of instruments (spoons, guiros, cow bells, shakers, jingle bells, etc.), enabling youth to learn how to make and create music. Supporting positive development, this initiative helped children and youth develop emotional and social skills by working with others in an ensemble.

“The Big Sound is pleased that the Ontario Trillium Foundation is helping to support this endeavour that teaches students to sing, play pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments, consistent with the Ontario curriculum, and helping them build self-confidence,” noted David McLeish, President of The Big Sound.

bigsoundfiddlerDifferent than traditional music lessons, The Big Sound’s Music and Movement Program teaches participants to sing and play an instrument in an ensemble that meets once per week, in-person prior to the pandemic and now virtually, throughout the school year. Classes are led by professional musicians who, along with the classroom teachers, create a nurturing environment for the children.

The Big Sound also launched an after-school Music Program at Hillcrest Elementary School in 2018 where students receive a nutritious snack and are taught to play the violin at no-cost to eligible families. The hope is that over time, this program will expand to include all schools in Owen Sound.

“We are thrilled by the news of this extremely generous funding investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, to support music programming for some of our youngest learners in three of our local elementary schools,” said Lori Wilder, Bluewater District School Board Director of Education. “Many thanks are owed to our community partners at the Big Sound, who continue to demonstrate their amazing commitment to youth by fostering the development of important life skills, including team building and self-confidence, while encouraging an appreciation for music.”

The Big Sound operates on the evidence-based premise that musical instruction improves a child’s self-confidence, concentration and motivation. Ultimately, this can translate into greater academic achievement and a healthier, happier life.

“The Big Sound is grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their support of our goal of using music education to help children develop perseverance and self-esteem,” added McLeish.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $115 million to 644 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.

source: media release, El Sistema Grey Bruce



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