Whether you play an instrument, sing opera, or rock out on the air guitar, for many of us, music is a significant part of life. From Bach to the Beatles, Mozart to Madonna, music has the power to inspire and evoke emotion, to bring people together, and to enhance learning. That’s right—studies have shown that learning how to play music at a young age can improve development of the left side of the brain, particularly the areas involved in language and reasoning.
Students at McGill understand firsthand the transformative powers of music and musical education. A group of dedicated McGill students, inspired by the way music has affected their own lives, volunteer their time with the Montreal Heart of the City Piano Program (MHCPP), a student-run program that provides musical education to inner-city children.
Since November 2007, the Montreal Heart of the City Piano Program has offered tuition-free piano lessons to lower income children at inner-city elementary schools in Montreal. A Student Society of McGill University (SSMU) Club and newest member of the McGill Seeds of Change Program, the MHCPP matches disadvantaged children from four inner-city elementary schools with dedicated musical volunteers. The outcome is lyrical. Not only do the children learn a new skill, but the program also helps to foster their self-esteem and teaches them the importance of practice and dedication.
The program has clearly struck a chord with piano student, Simon, who says “When I play the Piano, and I hear the sound, it makes me very happy”. (Quand je joue le piano et quand j’entends le son ca me rend heureux.”)
With many arts programs being cut from school systems nationwide, Associate Dean of the Schulich School of Music notes that “a program like the Montreal Heart of the City Piano Program might be the only opportunity for some children to be introduced to music,”
The MHCPP has grown significantly since it was first launched in 2007, and with your support, we can continue to reach out to even more children who are excited about learning how to play the piano.
To support the Montreal Heart of the City Piano Program with a donation of any size please click here.
If you want to read more about the other projects we support at Seeds of Change, click here .
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