MacEwan announces partnership with Sarah McLachlan School of Music

Hundreds of children facing socio-economic barriers are being offered the chance to study music at an Edmonton university.

MacEwan University announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with the Sarah McLachlan School of Music to provide free music training and mentorship to at-risk and underserved children and youth.

“We know that music is not only a favourite activity for children and youth, but that they flourish when given the opportunity to explore their creative identities,” McLachlan said. “And we witness that with our programs every day.”

“I am very pleased that MacEwan University is joining us to help bring music and music education to those who might not be given this kind of opportunity.”

Students enrolled in the program will have access to classrooms, mentors, equipment, performance spaces and practice rooms at MacEwan in the afternoon and evening hours.

The new music school has been phasing in operations at the university over the past few months, with approximately 150 youth currently enrolled and more expected to enroll.

“MacEwan University recognizes and values the importance of access to music education for young people, especially those facing barriers,” says Dr. Annette Trimbee, MacEwan’s president and vice-chancellor. “The thing that really hits me is that for a lot of young people, this will be their life-line.

“They’re going to grab it, and they’re going to run with it and they are going to shine.”

The agreement was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by McLachlan and Trimbee on Tuesday. At the event, several students from McLachlan’s school performed, including 15-year-old bass guitarist Lynn Kutcher.

“Everybody reaches places where they just need something, whether it be a support system or sometimes people just need to feel like they are a part of something, and Sarah’s school can certainly be that. It was that for me,” he said.

Edmonton is now one of three cities in Canada to host a Sarah McLachlan School of Music. 

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