Music Alive Program 2022 — PEI Symphony Orchestra partners with National Arts Centre for 3rd year of Cross-Cultural Youth Programming

 For a third year, the PEI Symphony is partnering with the National Arts Centre (NAC) to deliver the Music Alive Program (MAP) to Island youth, through cross-cultural workshop presentations in Island elementary schools this spring.

Music Alive is a nationwide project which aims to provide a comprehensive, accessible, and youth-centred music program that celebrates and gives a voice to Canada’s diverse communities and Indigenous cultures.

To achieve this, the PEISO and the NAC have again enlisted Mi’kmaq performer, Richard Pellissier-Lush and PEISO percussionist, Ryan Drew to visit Island schools and deliver cross-cultural workshops that blend Indigenous traditions and Western conventions in an exploration of music, art, and meaningful social connection. The presenters draw on their respective backgrounds to engage students with art/music as is inspired by the land we live on.

“With support from the PEI Symphony Orchestra and National Arts Centre, Richard and I are able to visit with thousands of students in a very short amount of time,” says teaching-artist Ryan Drew. “Building on the success of last year’s K-6 workshop, Inspired by the Land, our new Friends & Family focus involves activities and musical programming that position music as a powerful community-building practice. As part of this action-packed presentation, students engage with Indigenous and Western European music cultures through a cross-cultural celebration of drumming and percussion.”

For 2022, the presenters are returning to four schools which were visited last year, to build on the learning which has already taken place there. Additionally, five schools which are new to the program are also taking part, for a total of nine Island schools this round. Workshops will take place between May 19th and June 10th.

“This was a very useful addition to our learning of indigenous music and drumming. It is always helpful and engaging for students to have someone from outside the school come in and share their passion – it affirms what they already know and connects them to our larger community.” — Kirsten MacLaine, Gulf Shore Consolidated.

“The presenters were wonderful at differentiating for age/grade level; the presentation was equally enjoyable for grade six as it was for grade one. Having a member of the Mi’kmaq community visit was extremely crucial to bringing this culture to life for students.”— Nicole Waite, Sherwood Elementary.

For more information about Music Alive, visit https://nac-cna.ca/en/musicalive
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