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Montreal Families

School fundraising to provide free music lessons to kids

The American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said “music is the universal language of mankind.” Hoping to bring music education to kids across the city, a nonprofit organization called the School of Music Montreal has set up an online fundraising campaign.

Launched in early February, executive director Christopher Ma and a group of McGill music students want to raise $2,000 by the end of March, and have already reached half of their goal. “We’re trying to promote quality education to youth at risk,” said Ma. They give free one-hour guitar, piano and vocals lessons during class time or after school, depending on student registration. Students can also take private lessons.

Ma, a pianist and percussionist, attended the Sarah McLachlan School of Music in Vancouver where a similar program existed and was inspired to bring the idea to Montreal. The organization currently works with several schools including Verdun Elementary School and Orchard Elementary, and hope to work with high school students in the future.

The instruments are loaned from music companies or are rented through the schools themselves. With the money raised from this campaign and future fundraising endeavours, Ma says they hope to eventually own all their own instruments and have a space of their own.

The deadline to pledge money is March 29 at 3:52 p.m. To donate, visit their Kickstarter page. For more information on the School of Music Montreal, visit sommontreal.com.

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