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FYI

A Podcast Conversation With ... Kristy Fletcher of MusiCounts

Here is the announcement that arrived with much fanfare in mid-March:

A Podcast Conversation With ... Kristy Fletcher of MusiCounts

By Bill King

Here is the announcement that arrived with much fanfare in mid-March:


The Slaight Family Foundation made a $2 million, five-year commitment to the national music education charity MusiCounts. The investment will support dynamic, diverse, and exciting music education programs in schools across Canada through the new MusiCounts Slaight Family Foundation Innovation Fund. The announcement was made at the Juno Opening Night Awards, presented by Music Canada in Edmonton.

The MusiCounts Slaight Family Foundation Innovation Fund will support school music programs that leverage music technology, as well as programs that enable youth to celebrate their cultural identity in the classroom. Whether it be beat-making and DJ programs, Métis fiddling, recording studios, or traditional Indigenous drumming, teachers are reimagining what is possible in music class. The MusiCounts Slaight Family Foundation Innovation Fund will take this transformative thinking from dream to reality for thousands of students across the country.

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“Starting with my father Allan, our family has been committed to and inspired by youthful voices in the creation of music,” said Gary Slaight, President & CEO of The Slaight Family Foundation. "Canadian music educators are primed to make exciting developments in the music classroom, they just need a helping hand when it comes to resources. The Slaight Family Foundation is proud to support their endeavours and proud to work with MusiCounts to bring innovative ideas to life and champion a new vision of music education in our country."

For those of us who can remember the band programs of our youth, understanding today’s schools are under-funded or not funded at all when it comes to music programs and instruments is of great importance. This is where MusiCounts steps in.

I’m a child of a high school band, dance band, and a choral club's fully funded four-year program. While the class stars were playing football or running for student council, I was in the band room or adjacent practice rooms learning the basics of music. Theory, sight reading and wood shedding on my instrument.

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More on the Slaight investment.

The MusiCounts Slaight Family Foundation Innovation Fund applications will open in fall 2023 in conjunction with the MusiCounts Band Aid Program, the charity’s existing musical instrument and equipment grant program for schools. This new fund does not replace the MusiCounts Band Aid Program but offers teachers and administrators the option to apply for the grant that best supports the needs of the school and students. The Innovation Fund will also include resource development and professional development opportunities for educators to ensure they are supported in bringing these new school music programs to life.

Dr. Bina John, Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Toronto, is serving as Program Advisor for this new funding stream. As an expert in music pedagogy and music in equity-seeking groups, she is uniquely poised to help shape the direction of innovation in music education.

I caught up with MusiCounts president Kristy Fletcher for the complete picture. Programs, deadlines and outreach. This is where we begin with this week’s FYI Music News podcast.

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