An Instrument for Every Child (AIFEC) is a unique and innovative musical project that will provide elementary school children in Hamilton’s inner-city schools with the opportunity to learn to play an instrument. The four-year program is intended to supplement existing music education in the elementary school system through regular, qualified instrumental and musical instruction by members of the local arts community.

AIFEC was originated in Germany in 2003 and is based on the highly successful music education initiative, El Sistema, from Venezuela. It has been selected as one of the major music pedagogical projects featured during the ‘European Capital of Culture’ festivities in 2010.

The AIFEC Hamilton program is built on partnerships of school boards and individual schools with local arts and community organizations, corporations, and local businesses. These partnership initiatives are carried out within the context of strong educational objectives with members of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hamilton Music Collective providing students with qualified instrumental instruction in our local schools during regular school hours.

"We are very delighted to see the program 'An Instrument for Every Child' growing worldwide and can only support the initiative of the Hamilton Music Collective!"

- Manfred Grunenberg (Founder and Director of the German program, 'Jedem Kind ein Instrument', / An Instrument for Every Child)

This is how it works:

In the first year (Grade 1) elementary school children will be introduced to a variety of instruments. The students will receive one hour of music lessons each week. Under the supervision of the classroom teacher, a qualified music instructor will implement the program during regular school hours.
In the second year students choose the instrument that they want to play. The instructor will work with small groups of four to six children. The instrumental lessons take place once a week in the school building.
Instrumental instruction continues in the third and fourth year with an introduction to basic ensemble play being added to the program.
The curriculum will be based on the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Curriculum for the Arts, Grade 1-4, and will introduce students to the basic elements of music through listening to, performing and creating music.
The special child-sized instruments will be provided on a free loan basis for the period of three years.

Program Fees:

The program is free of cost for the first year and when there is a need, parental paid fee schedules, which normally commence with year two, will be waived and fully subsidized by HMC.
  • First year:                         Free
  • Second year:                    $25/month
  • Third & fourth year:       $35/month