Music Programming for Youth

The Cause

We’re in the midst of an “opportunity gap”—When life factors like race, education, and the familial situation of a home can impact young people’s access to resources needed to thrive.

Music education has been proven to have a positive impact on cognitive development, creativity, and emotional well-being. High-level music education also represents a career path for those youth fortunate enough to obtain the necessary extra-curricular training. Unfortunately, this education is often inaccessible to families who cannot afford expensive music lessons, instruments and fees.

At Cassa Musical Arts, we’ve seen the opportunity gap firsthand. Students with an interest and passion in music can’t move beyond the basics of in-school instruction. Many of our participants are from low-income families, and we’ve seen these numbers increase significantly over the past few years. While there are communities that have a larger percentage of low-income families, today, there are low-income families with youth and young adults distributed throughout our urban and rural landscape. The key to connecting with them is to engage with education and community partners.

With a 30-year history of musical arts programming in Calgary, Cassa boasts an extensive network of educators, community leaders, current members and alumni. Our project purpose seeks to bridge this gap by providing opportunities to families in need. The Cassa team works with seasoned experts and peer mentors to create programming that is interdisciplinary, inclusive and offers tangible career skills in the musical arts.

In addition to the music education itself, our project will also provide a supportive community for youth to connect and bond over their shared love of music. As music has the power to bring people together and create a sense of belonging, our programming ensures that all families have the opportunity to experience this within our specialized performances. Our programming meets the needs of students both from a skill-building and social perspective and provides new pathways and community for students and their families.

Our top priority is to ensure that all of our programs achieve high impact and remain accessible for all. Participating students will select from their program choices, ensuring they have the best possible experience. In addition to our programs, we are committed to providing peer mentor support and our programs provide music creation and performance opportunities for our students.

Who Will it Benefit?

Dedicated to enriching lives through music and performing arts, Cassa Musical Arts programs are designed by award-winning specialists for all ages and stages. Under the guidance of leading experts, Cassa’s immersive programs build high-level tangible skills in musical arts, through engaging teamwork. Cassa seeks to involve our community in the joys and benefits of effective musical training, ensuring access to musical arts education despite socioeconomic status, background or ability. The diversity and inclusion in our programs are what makes Cassa a musical home for our community.

This project will support schools traditional musical approach and students that are being left behind by the “opportunity gap”. Understanding that music offers more diversity than playing recorders or traditional band instruments, Cassa’s program will foster creativity, self-expression, teamwork and personal development. This approach is especially important when engaging middle-high school students who at a crucial stage of identity formation.

Rather than the traditional Alberta school curriculum, Cassa’s sessions are interactive and encourage active participation from students, incorporating group activities, discussion, and hands-on exercises. Students will be encouraged to experiment with various styles and explore their creativity. Using Cassa’s proven interactive teaching methods, students will benefit from dynamic, participatory activities that are relevant to their lives. Cassa’s diverse team will connect with a wide range of students, with diversity in terms of musical styles, cultural backgrounds to resonate with the diverse interests and identities of Calgary students.