NW Week

Saturday, August 13, 2022

The music department at BGC Dawson makes lessons accessible to children

music department at BGC Dawson

Key Takeaways:

  • Anyone can learn music with the help of loaned instruments, virtual courses, and low fees.

Ciaran Williams, 15, plays drums in a white room with a piano painted on the door, with his music instructor, John Francom, accompanying him on guitar. They can play a wide range of music, from death metal to dad rock.

Williams is one of several students that attend BGC Dawson in Montreal’s southwestern Verdun neighborhood for music lessons.

“It means a lot to me,” he started, “and it’s a good break from schoolwork and stress.” “It’s fantastic to be capable to come here once a week and play my heart out while pursuing a love.”

After earning a master’s degree in music instruction, Francom taught music at BGC Dawson since early 2020.

He’s delighted to be able to teach children to play at a low cost. After-school music classes are free for anyone with an annual membership or enrolled in the community center’s after-school programs. Non-members pay $240 for eight weeks of lessons, with a sliding scale based on their financial circumstances.

Students who cannot afford their instruments can borrow instruments.

BGC Dawson is ready for lessons; Image from CBC News

“My family couldn’t afford lessons when I first started. As a result, I had to remember everything on the internet, “Francom stated. “A lot of that was challenging since it was pre-YouTube.”

Lessons had to be delivered online when the program began during the height of the pandemic. As a result, Francom soon noticed pupils from all across the city who otherwise would not have been able to travel to Verdun for lessons.

Learning to play the drums makes 10-year-old Neveah Taylor happy and allows her to focus her energy on something productive. She claims to adore every aspect of the instrument.

“I enjoy learning to play since it’s a new experience,” she explained. “Banging on something you’re permitted to bang on is fun.”

A grant enabled the music closet to be stocked with acoustic and electric guitars, amps, a drum kit, keyboards. Francom said the next step is to get more instruments and sufficient soundproofing for some maintenance tools so that students can play as loudly as they want.

Source: CBC News

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