City Discretionary Grant

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.