Amal­ga­mated Academy to re­ceive mu­sic grant

The Compass - - NEWS - BY ROBYN SEY­MOUR

Amal­ga­mated Academy is one of 60 schools across Canada cho­sen to re­ceive a MusiCounts Band Aid grant within the next year.

The grants aim to pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity and ac­cess for stu­dents to com­pre­hen­sive mu­sic pro­grams through­out their schools.

Deanne His­cock, a mu­sic teacher at Amal­ga­mated Academy, ap­plied for the $10,000 grant over the sum­mer. She had pre­vi­ously cre­ated the Amal­ga­mated Academy Tra­di­tional Mu­sic En­sem­ble af­ter stu­dents who were fond of tra­di­tional mu­sic ap­proached her. Un­til now, only stu­dents who had their own in­stru­ments could par­tic­i­pate in the en­sem­ble.

“Our school will now be able to buy in­stru­ments to be used in the Amal­ga­mated Academy Tra­di­tional Mu­sic En­sem­ble. This grant will open our mu­sic pro­gram to an even larger group of stu­dents, there­fore, mak­ing our school even more so­cially just for all stu­dents. (It will also) en­cour­age the de­vel­op­ment of the love of tra­di­tional mu­sic in a larger por­tion of our stu­dent pop­u­la­tion,” ex­plains Vi­o­let Pack, prin­ci­pal of the Bay Roberts school. “The grant was ap­plied for specif­i­cally to de­velop and help en­rich the tra­di­tional mu­sic en­sem­ble. The in­stru­ments, such as ac­cor­dions, are very ex­pen­sive and the school could not ac­quire them out of our in­struc­tional bud­get.

“ It was won­der­ful to have Ms. His­cock’s work rec­og­nized. She is a very ded­i­cated teacher who puts a great deal of time and en­ergy into her stu­dents and the mu­sic pro­gram at our school. She worked on th­ese grants over the sum­mer, this again speaks to her ded­i­ca­tion. Also, I felt this was a great op­por­tu­nity for us to pro­mote New­found­land cul­ture in our school and to keep New­found­land mu­sic alive,” Pack adds.

Steve Cran­well, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, MusiCounts says Amal­ga­mated Academy was cho­sen among many other schools that ap­plied for a num­ber of rea­sons.

“They met a num­ber of cri­te­ria we ask for and were suc­cess­ful in meet­ing our re­quire­ments. (Cri­te­ria are) es­sen­tially based on eco­nomic need, in­ven­tory and con­di­tion of in­stru­ments, num- ber of stu­dents in the pro­gram, ded­i­ca­tion of school staff and the over­all im­pact the grant would make within the school and it’s com­mu­nity,” he told The Com

pass last week. “Mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing is be­ing eroded year af­ter year. It is par­tic­u­larly grat­i­fy­ing we help schools what do not have suf­fi­cient funds or equip­ment to op­er­ate their pro­grams prop­erly. It’s hoped through th­ese grants mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion will en­cour­age and strengthen stu­dent par­tic­i­pa­tion as re­search proves chil­dren’s mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion aids their cog­ni­tive de­vel­op­ment and cre- ativ­ity, as well as their over­all at­ti­tude to­ward their stud­ies. Th­ese grants can also ben­e­fit stu­dents by in­tro­duc­ing them to a new pro­gram and new kinds of in­stru­ments they may not have had ac­cess to in the past,” Cran­well con­cludes.

MusiCounts is a Cana­dian mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion char­ity and is as­so­ci­ated with the Cana­dian Academy of Record­ing Arts and Sciences (CARAS).

Other schools cho­sen across the prov­ince are Be­langer Memo­rial School, Doyles; Dunne Memo­rial Academy, St. Mary’s and Larkhall Academy, St. John’s.

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