Yesterday, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) and other partners launched La musique aux enfants, a prekindergarten and kindergarten music project at École St-Rémi-Annexe of the Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île (CSPI) in the borough of Montréal-Nord.
The project imagined by Maestro Kent Nagano, and developed by the OSM in collaboration with the Université de Montréal and the CSPI, is to introduce preschool children to music as a means to support their overall development.
All the students of École St-Rémi-Annexe will receive a minimum of one lesson in rhythm and choral singing per week. They will also be able to participate in cultural activities putting them in contact with music and OSM musicians. Amongst the 261 students, a group of 16 children will receive three hours of piano, violin, rhythm and choral singing lesson each day. Another group of 16 children will receive an hour and a quarter of music lessons per day.
“The goal of La musique aux enfants is simple: to inspire hope and the sense that anything is possible,” stated Maestro Nagano.
“In implementing La musique aux enfants in the heart of a diverse neighbourhood, we are positioning this initiative at the center of two of the OSM’s cherished traditions: awakening children to music, and the democratization of music and the arts,” added Lucien Bouchard, Chairman of the Board of the OSM.
“The CSPI is proud to be associated with this generous and bold project, with Maestro Nagano, who provided the creative impetus, and with all the partners who enabled this idea to take shape,” said Miville Boudreault, President of the CSPI.
“This is a project especially close to my heart because the learning of music was one of the most valuable gifts I was given,” said the rector of Université de Montréal Guy Breton, “Montreal is an university city but also musical and cultural.”
Kent Nagano got emotional and couldn’t finish his thanks. The public largely applauded him. The group of 16 children who will receive three hours of lessons were present. They handed a drawing of what music was in their eyes to Maestro Nagano.
La musique aux enfants is made possible thanks to numerous partners who helped in building the locals, acquiring instruments and recruiting educators.