Published in The Cambridge Citizen: August 3, 2015
More than one third of Waterloo Region youth cite financial hardships as the main thing preventing them from enrolling in music-based extracurricular lessons.
To counteract this, the “Music Is My Weapon – Unplugged Concert Series,” held at Kitchener’s Registry Theatre on Sept. 18, 2015, seeks to eliminate financial barriers preventing children from receiving training in music, song writing, instrumentalism, and performing.
This benefit concert will raise funds for E-Bolt Music in Cambridge and the Community Music School of Waterloo Region. This funding will enable both schools to expand their music programming, slash their prices in half, and increase intake capacity for new students.
“Music really helps children to think differently and to process thoughts and emotions,” said Eric Bolton, local singer/songwriter and owner/music teacher at E-Bolt Music. “Music was my reaction to life. I remember going through some tough times and the first thing I did was write music. This initiative is great, and already we see young people benefiting from the power of music.”
Businesses around Ontario have sponsored this concert series, including MIREU Entertainment & Music Business Consulting Group as an artist sponsor; Coldwell Banker Gary Baverstock Realty, Brokerage as a stage sponsor; and Musselman Compressor Services Inc., as musician sponsors.
“Getting children involved with arts and culture is critical,” said Shadd, vice-president of Roulette Media Records in Waterloo. “There has to be an outlet for them, though. There has to be a way for them to be recognized for their hard work. I think ‘Music Is My Weapon – Unplugged’ will provide a great outlet for these children to showcase their musical talents to a wide audience.”
According to the National Assembly of State Art Agencies, music programs build the confidence and problem-solving skills sought by today’s employers. Children from low-income families who are given the chance to develop skills in music – whether it’s through singing, performing, producing, or composing – achieve grades above 80 per cent in mathematics and science.
Using the hashtag #ELIMIN8BARRIERS, the “Music Is My Weapon – Unplugged Concert Series” encourages members of the Waterloo Region community to come out to this event, and donate what they can to assist students wishing to pursue music lessons.