Your Voice Counts

David Clayton-Thomas

I’m so pleased to endorse the Hamilton Music Collective and their 'Instrument For Every Child' program. I believe it was Einstein who said “The artists should rule the world for they have flexibility of consciousness.” In the US every state, where music programs were cut, saw grades plummet in all subjects. Programs like this will encourage underprivileged young people to exercise their minds, develop their talents and rise above the circumstances they were born into.

Singer, songwriter and former lead vocalist for the Band, Blood, Sweat & Tears

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Paul Lloyd

The goal of ‘An Instrument for Every Child’ is to help kids who might have a musical talent, but might not have discovered it or might not have the financial resources to develop it. The program helps these kids uncover this talent, discover it, play with it, grow it, and to even receive some positive recognition as a result of their growth. This program is not about developing world class musicians. It’s about developing self esteem. I support the Hamilton Music Collective in this endeavor. It is part of their mission, they have a proven track record, and most importantly they have the expertise and know how.

- President PasWord Group / Founding Sponsor, An Instrument For Every Child

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Andrew Shaw

The AIFEC initiative is critically important to the health of the community and warrants uncompromised support. Not only is instrumental music a proven means of developing intellectual and aesthetic discipline as a foundation for an enriched life, but it is also uniquely effective in social and emotional development for young people – especially in the situations targeted by AIFEC.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

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Tom Scott

An Instrument For Every Child  is a blessing to the community, providing these kids with some hands-on participation in a collective art. It feeds their minds and, just as importantly, their souls. What a great way to give a kid a sense of achievement and a boost in self esteem. I heartily endorse this life-changing program and hope the idea spreads throughout the hemisphere.

Multiple Grammy Award-winning composer, arranger, producer, musical director and saxophonist

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Brian Melo

Music is the universal form of expression, and every child should have the opportunity to express themselves and shine! Time and time again music proves that it can change the world.

Canadian singer-songwriter, Canadian Idol Winner, 2007

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Astrid Hepner

An Instrument For Every Child is not just another music project. It is a social project at heart, and we are excited that AIFEC is becoming a reality in Hamilton. AIFEC doesn’t set out to produce world-class musicians. Rather, it hopes to create community spirit by giving children the opportunity to develop teamwork and interpersonal relationship skills through music.

- Founder/Program Director, An Instrument For Every Child

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Jim Anderson

Children. Music. Creativity. As a child learns the discipline of an instrument, the lessons they receive follow into their academic studies and, ultimately, through their life. Children, through music, learn to lead, to follow, and become self-reliant. An Instrument for Every Child is A Must!

Chair of the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at New York University's Tisch School for the Arts /  Past-President, Audio Engineering Society

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Rachael Finnerty

As a music therapist, I have used music to facilitate speech, social skills and self expression. I have experienced with my clients what a powerful tool music is.

As children we learn many concepts through song such as our ABC’s. It is hard to imagine any other way to teach the alphabet that would be as effective!

Children learn new languages more easily at a young age, and music is a language that we owe our children an opportunity to be versed in.

AIFEC allows children to learn an instrument at this prime time. This impacts not only their music education, but reading, math, physical dexterity and listening skills. Additionally, attention span, self confidence and group cohesion improves in group music lessons.

I am proud to be involved with the AIFEC program. Seeing the excitement and enthusiasm from the children each week is incredibly rewarding.

AIFEC Instructor
Director, Fermata Music Therapy
President, Music Therapy Association of Ontario

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Tim Tickner

Exposure to art is the exposure to possibilities. Exposure to music can be the key to unlocking that door... and sometimes that's all a child needs.

- Composer / Musician / Producer

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Jane Allison

Music is such an important factor in a person's life, providing its soundtrack, its solace and its celebration. When all is said and done about any society or era, it is the music and arts that help tell the story. An Instrument for Every Child helps children tell their own stories through music, and offers a glimpse of possiblities outside of the everyday experience. For kids who are dealing with challenging circumstances, this vision is so important. That is why I love this program...AIFEC is the switch that can turn on a passion and an experience that will serve that child throughout his or her life.

Manager, Community Partnerships
The Hamilton Spectator

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Dr. Laurel Trainor

I am thrilled that the Hamilton Music Collective is bringing An Instrument for Every Child to Hamilton schools. As an important part of social, emotional and cognitive development, music should be accessible to all children. Research indicates that active participation in music not only benefits individual children, but leads to greater social cooperation and sense of community.

- Director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind and Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour at McMaster University

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Diana Panton

Every child deserves the right to an education and the arts should be an integral part of that education. Music develops empathy, creativity, expressivity, numeracy, literacy and higher order thinking skills. No child should be denied the opportunity to discover all the joys and benefits that can be fulfilled by playing an instrument. As a teacher in the arts, I have witnessed first-hand how the discovery of artistic expression boosts self-esteem and awakens the desire to learn for self-improvement. For many children, the sense of freedom experienced through the arts is an epiphany that can change their entire outlook about school and life.

Canadian Jazz Vocalist

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Jim Biros

I am honoured to be asked to add my voice in support of "An Instrument For Every Child". The opportunity for every child to have an instrument and music lessons is my wish for all of our children and for Canada as a nation. I grew up in a small town close to Hamilton, (Dunnville). There were no instruments in my school. I was very fortunate in that my parents felt the opportunity of a child to have music lessons was an essential part of our education, of growing up. Not that we were to become musicians, but that we would have the opportunity to experience and perform music. The jazz pianist Bill Evans said, “My creed for art in general is that it should enrich the soul; it should teach spirituality by showing a person a portion of himself that he would not discover otherwise . . . a part of yourself you never knew existed.” Music has the power to communicate beyond the barriers of language, to transcend our differences. Our investment in music for our children enriches us as a nation and as individuals.

Executive Director, Toronto Musicians’ Association, Local 149, American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.

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Steve Strongman

I am proud to endorse the AN INSTRUMENT FOR EVERY CHILD program. It gives kids the opportunity to explore their creativity, and tap into talents that may have previously been out of reach. Music has been such a huge part of my life in every way, and now with the help of AIFEC, it can be for the kids of this community also.

Singer / Songwriter

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Frank Raso

This is an incredible initiative! Music is a life long gift not only to the child learning the instrument but also to the friends, family and public with whom the music will be shared over the course of that child's life!

(Singer) Funkhaus
President, Hamilton All Star Jazz Bands Inc.

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Phil King

I am excited about the impact that “An Instrument for Every Child” will have for Hamilton’s children. Just like sports, music enables children to develop self-esteem, creative thinking and confidence. These values can help bring about positive social change within our community. There is not enough emphasis on creative learning in our schools today and a program like this is vitally needed. It will also help position Hamilton as a more forward-thinking community.

President, OK&D Marketing Group.

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Graham Rockingham

One of my great regrets is not taking the time at a young age to learn how to play a musical instrument ... If this program had existed when I was in school ... I might be playing music instead of writing about it.

Music Editor, Hamilton Spectator

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Mark Agbetiafa

An Instrument for Every Child can help unveil a child's true potential. Just learning about music can help open new paths and avenues in a child's life. It gives the child a chance to shine and have a sense of belonging. Many underprivileged children don't get a chance to discover their true potential. An Instrument for Every Child is a key into unlocking that barrier to really let a child shine!

I wished that I had this type of an opportunity growing up. I had a rough time as a child trying to find an identity and trying to figure out what I was good at. It's only because of music that I now feel like my life is in the right direction. If picking up an instrument at the age of 21 can change my perspective imagine what it can do with a child!

The crusade and mission that the Hamilton Music Collective is presenting will change many children's ways and beliefs. It will empower and motivate them to become the best that they can be!

Mohawk College Music Student

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Harrison Kennedy

Why I support your efforts to get instruments into the hands of students is simple:

I studied music theory in the public school system from Grade 1 to Grade 8.  I received an award in my final public school year for getting the highest marks in each of my 8 years.
However I  could not participate in the high school music program because I could not afford to buy an instrument, and as the school did not supply them I sadly was turned away.

I hope this does not happen to any child.  Good Luck, and God Bless.

Veteran blues performer and original member of the band 'The Chairman Of The Board'

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Bob Miller

During one of our many conversations regarding the state of music in the City of Hamilton, Astrid Hepner related the story of a hugely successful children’s program in the Ruhr region of Germany. Astrid noted that she would love to see something of that nature implemented in Hamilton. Well, An Instrument For Every Child is now a fact and is quickly gathering momentum and great community awareness. For those of us who are privileged to be directly working on the project, it is like a dream come true and we are doing everything in our power to make it the true success that it most definitely deserves to be!

Retired steel executive, chair of The Steeltown Friends of Mohawk Music and member of the board of HMC

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Phillip Darley

Music makes me happy. I love performing in front of people and making them happy as well.

8-year-old cellist/pianist & recent AIFEC Guest Performer

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Dr. Glenn Mallory

There is a need in life to plan for the future and draw on our past, but the reality is NOW, today. We need to make today's experiences count, especially for our children. AIFEC will do just that in enriching the lives of the students it serves.
Former Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction (Music) Hamilton Public School Board /
Founder of the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra


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John Malloy

We are pleased to be piloting such a wonderful program in Hamilton. The arts are an important component of our commitment to improved literacy, numeracy and student engagement.

Director of Education, Hamilton Wentworth District School Board

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Tim Potocic

I'm very excited about 'An Instrument For Every Child' program. I think music is an essential element to children's education. This program helps guide music education in schools and will create a more well rounded student. The program is a critical element to education and community building. I fully support and commend the Hamilton Music Collective for moving the initiative forward.

President - Sonic Unyon

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Jennifer Kaye

We all know how significant musical training is to human development. As someone who is struggling to learn an instrument in mid-life, I support this initiative to help all young Hamiltonians develop musical skills at a time in their lives when the impact will be lifelong and profound.

Manager, Arts and Events
Culture Division, Community Services Department
City of Hamilton

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Grace Lee

I am very grateful to be a part of An Instrument for Every Child. Music is something that should be accessible to anyone, regardless of their age. Music is love; music is passion; music is forever. I pray that all children, not only in this program, will be blessed with the never-ending love and  passion music brings to a person's soul.

High school volunteer/Implementor of the Mentorship Program


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