Our Winter Newsletter is out for your reading pleasure. Can you believe we made it to December? Feel free to read through on a Sunday morning, curled up with a hot beverage. Click the link for a larger .pdf version you can download and save.
As per the BC Government, masks are now mandatory in our facility where social distance cannot be maintained. This includes hallways and common areas. Thank you so much for adhering to these new guidelines, we appreciate it and look forward to staying open to enjoy music. 4 more weeks until Christmas holidays!
To learn more about the province-wide restrictions, please check out the BC Government website.
Oh my goodness, my heart is SO full!
Our kids are the best, some of them have decided to join our “Gift of Music” project by writing Christmas cards to each senior in one of our local retirement homes. Look at the care that went into each card! Don’t forget to send in your video of you performing, if you’d like to join in the project! The deadline is December 9th!
People are always excited to play an instrument and love to learn in a community setting, but what does the Vernon Community Music School really do? What do we focus on? Why are we so passionate about our students and why do we care about their success?
The Music School is a community organization that is passionate about guiding and developing future community leaders. We know that students learn in an environment that is fun, supportive and inviting. It is important to us to start developing these skills in early childhood, so that children involved in our programs can be leaders within their own social and familial spheres. We also know that when we foster positive self-esteem and self-confidence through work and creativity, children exhibit this behaviour and portray it in their academic studies as well.
The Music School not only has to ability to help build self-esteem and foster creativity for children, but it also creates a musical element for parent/child engagement to help set the child up for success. When parents are engaged in their children’s musical abilities, students have the support and knowledge they need to not only learn and complete new pieces, but also develop a lifelong love of learning music. It is a great way to create a positive learning environment for every student.
Speaking of a lifelong love of music, we are so fortunate to have such a variety of teachers at our school who are just as passionate about teaching adults as they are about teaching children. They will tell you that it is never too late to form bonds over music and good conversation.
What’s another reason music is so great? Music is also effective as a stress reliever and stress management tool. Listening to music can have a tremendous relaxing effect on our minds and bodies; it can slow the pulse and heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease the levels of stress hormones – all added benefits to our physiological functions. This is something we could all use, especially during a pandemic.
After reading all of the above, you may be thinking “this sounds really great, and I know that my mental health is worth it, but I really can’t afford lessons this year because of our tight finances.” One more great thing about our Music School is that we have a bursary program that may be able to help you out. We also have monthly payment options, to make payments a bit easier and more feasible. We are truly focusing our efforts on “community”, and we believe so strongly that you belong here. Join our community, we would love to see you!
*disclaimer: all photos below taken before COVID-19.
In March of this year, before COVID, we thanked the City for the Discretionary Grant we received to help purchase instruments for our children’s program. We wanted to reiterate how grateful we are for the City’s acknowledgement for our programs.
Report Card for Music Explorers: Vernon Community Music School
The 2019/2020 school year at the Vernon Community Music School has seen the development and increase of valuable programs for children. This includes the Music Explorers program, in which we have reached out to children of all levels of abilities to help them bring music into their lives. Students are engaged in music making games and activities using their voices and a variety of instruments. Musical concepts of rhythm, melody, movement and composition are being explored and discovered with the guidance of Ms. Natalie Kober. Student creativity is encouraged through improvisation, movement and singing activities. This weekly group class is giving students a basic foundation of music that can be built upon.
Working with the Vernon and District Immigrant Services Society, we have been able to connect with four refugee families and offer each family a bursary to help cover the cost of the program. This experience has helped not only the students connect with each other and form a supportive community, but it has also given their parents/caregivers the opportunity to connect with each other and meet new people.
Recently, Music Explorer students have been learning about the musical alphabet and staff as well as exploring various instrument families in the orchestra. This past month a number of special guests have come by to perform and answer many questions related to their instruments and practising. Marlowe demonstrated her piano skills. The Second String Trio with Victoria, Kathryn and William Reynolds gave students the chance to look at the violin and cello. Ms. Caroline also brought her Celtic harps to work with the older students. All of these experiences and interactions will help these young musicians decide which instruments they wish to pursue in the future.
We are passionate about guiding and developing future community leaders; the Music School environment is fun, supportive and inviting. Research shows that group programs can help us alleviate stress and anxiety, improving our overall sense of well-being. We are giving the students the tools needed to help develop their emotional health and resiliency. When we foster positive self-esteem and self-confidence through work and creativity, we see children become leaders in their own social and familial spheres, which in turn spreads out into the community.
The Music School wants to acknowledge the City of Vernon for their generous Council Discretionary Grant we received early this year. It is with their assistance that we were able to purchase the much needed equipment to facilitate this program. We are so grateful to be able to purchase some xylophones, boomwhackers, rainbow chime bars, nesting drums and iPads with corresponding headphones. We are also happy to report that when this equipment is not being used for the Music Explorers program, it is being used for our younger Music Makers program for children up to 4 years of age, as well as during our monthly visits from Maven Lane’s (North Okanagan Childcare Society) Adventure Quest program during their field trips. We are pleased to be able to work with some of the other local organizations to bring music into the lives of so many children. Thank you for working with us to bring music and the arts to our community.