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Lundi, 15 juillet 2024

Uplifting Notes

By Alicia Mancini
Special collaboration

Some new sounds are coming from BGC Dawson this fall, and its music to my ears! The sounds of guitars, drums and piano and the sounds of the happy children playing them. The music program was started by John Francom online during the pandemic and is now being offered in-person to members of the afterschool program. With plans to expand to provide services to toddlers, youth, and seniors, this will be a program for members of all ages.

We often talk about building a program from the beginning, and nothing could be more accurate when talking about John and the music program. While offering virtual classes online at the height of Covid-19, John also was involved in building the new music room at Dawson.  What was the inspiration behind this initiative? “When I grew up, we couldn’t always afford lessons. It’s unfair for some not to have the opportunity. This is more equitable.” says John.

John grew up with a passion for music. Having received degrees in jazz performance and integrated music studies, he is currently finishing a Master of Education degree at Queen’s University. “With so much focus on sports, kids need a different outlet. This gives kids the opportunity to try something new, which is true of Dawson in general.” explains John.

Trying new things seems to be working. The afterschool members have been playing guitars, piano, drums, to name a few. In addition to that, there are the fundamentals of music, digital composition, music theory, and help to prepare for auditions. This gives kids the opportunity to not only play an instrument but also to understand what else goes into creating music. It’s also a chance for them to see how music can elevate our lives. Whether it’s Christmas Carolling or starting up a band and practicing together, these young people can see firsthand how music and song can reach people and lift them. In times like this, we could all use a little more music.

The hope is that this program will take off and give BGC Dawson another opportunity to enrich the lives of not only our members but of our community as well. We hope that the uplifting notes coming out of our centre will reach the families and neighbours we serve. As Louis Armstrong so simply yet eloquently put it, “Music is life itself… !”

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