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THE SCOOP | Hamilton Philharmonic & Hamilton Music Collective Launch New Music Education Initiative

By Anya Wassenberg on March 18, 2024

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra perform for students through the An Instrument For Every Child program (Photo courtesy of the HPO)
The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra perform for students through the An Instrument For Every Child program (Photo courtesy of the HPO)

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) and the Hamilton Music Collective (HMC) have announced the new Marnie and Larry Paikin Music Education Initiative. The program was created in the memory of the late Marnie Paikin, a strong supporter of both the HPO and HMC during her lifetime who was equally committed to the principle of making music education available to underserved communities.

Hamilton Music Collective (HMC) is a non-profit organization. Since its founding in 2008, through the An Instrument For Every Child (AIFEC) program, more than 15,000 children in under-resourced neighbourhoods in Hamilton have benefited from its professional live performances, educational events, workshops, and exhibits.

Through An Instrument for Every Child (AIFEC), HMC’s flagship program, the new partnership will enhance its educational offerings via live performances and more to elementary school aged students.

“The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra is proud of our longtime partnership with An Instrument for Every Child. This collaboration highlights our shared dedication to make music education accessible and ignite a love of music in young people, especially those who might not see themselves represented in orchestral music,” says HPO Executive Director Kim Varian.

Among other things, AIFEC students will be able to attend rehearsals of the Hamilton Phil, along with experiencing live demonstrations at the city’s FirstOntario Concert Hall. They’ll get to engage with the musicians directly for an enriching musical experience.

“Experiencing a symphony orchestra firsthand, where children can see and hear strings, brass, woodwind, and percussion perform live, creates an indelible memory that lasts a lifetime. We’re excited to enhance our partnership with the HPO, offering these invaluable experiences to our AIFEC students,” says HMC CEO Astrid Hepner in a media statement.

Breaking barriers to let all children benefit from music education is crucial for the future of all art forms.

The emphasis on music education is especially poignant in Hamilton, where Mohawk College recently shuttered its Applied Music Program, and McMaster University has suspended its music program for an as yet undefined redesign.

The Marnie and Larry Paikin Music Education Initiative launches in the 2024/25 season.

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