Outside the Box Offers Children Free Music Classes in Toronto

Outside the Box Offers Children Free Music Classes in Toronto
With arts groups now minus millions of dollars in federal funding, it’s getting harder and harder for Canadian kids to get a shot at a bright musical future. Yet funding or no funding, a new youth music workshop is hoping to change all that. Dubbed Outside the Box, the recently launched program is now offering kids between seven and 13 free music classes in Toronto and is hoping to go national by 2010.

In the program, music-loving kids get a chance to learn under local musicians, who have been passing on their skills during Outside the Box’s inaugural term. Through an eight-week program, children get to learn the basics of music — whether on guitar, drums, bass, piano or voice — while teaching them to problem solve, collaborate, create and share, not to mention have a whole lot of fun.

The kids work at their own creative pace and at the end of the course even get to record with a professional music engineer in a real studio. This term the engineer is Ryan Haslett, who’s worked with such acts as Sloan and Keisha Chante. Besides fostering a greater interest in music, in the end the students are left with a complete song of their creation "performed by the kids, for the kids,” as the press release puts it.

The weekly program, which was conceived by Toronto musician Sway, is wrapping up its first term this month and is already gearing up for another in the new year. To celebrate, Outside the Box is having a "closing house” party on December 1 at the program’s usual Toronto headquarters the Masaryk Cowan Community Centre.

For more information on Outside the Box or the party, you can visit the program’s blog here.