Marshview’s music program boosted by $10,000 grant
New instruments, sheet music purchased with funds
SACKVILLE, N.B. – Marshview Middle School’s music program has received a significant boost thanks to an influx of funds from a national grant program.
Marshview was awarded a $10,000 MusiCounts grant last month, providing a muchneeded shot in the arm for a program that was struggling to survive.
Paula Stewart, music teacher at MMS, said this grant has enabled the school to purchase 16 new instruments – including flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and a baritone – as well as sheet music and other needed supplies.
The funds are a welcome relief for Stewart, who said the instrumental program at the school has been making do with mostly used and second-hand instruments since its inception seven years ago.
“You need a big influx of funds to really get it going,” she said. “It’s nice to have new instruments that work well.”
Stewart said since the instrumental pro- grams within the schools are considered as cocurricular programs, they are not funded by the district. So finding the necessary funds to operate them is an ongoing challenge.
This is the third time Stewart said she has applied for the MusiCounts Band Aid program, which awards $5,000 or $10,000 grants toward the purchase of musical instruments and educational equipment. MusiCounts is Canada’s music education charity associated with The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which aims to keep music alive in schools across the country.
Stewart said her Grade 7 music students, as well as a number of parents and community members, wrote letters in support of the grant.
Learning to play an instrument has been proven to have a number of benefits on students, particularly for those who may not have that opportunity outside of school. Stewart said being part of a band can teach students teamwork and responsibility, as well as developing their musical talents.
“It’s a lifelong skill ... and people will often come back to it later in life,” she said. “It may be an area where some students can really shine.”
Marshview Middle School’s band members rehearse a piece last week for their performance at the Sackville Music Festival. The school’s music program was awarded a $10,000 grant recently, with the funds going towards the purchase of new instruments and other supplies.