Our Mission

We hope to enrich the lives of youth in Yukon communities and help overcome some negative effects of isolation through the power of music education. Through gaining a high-quality, solid foundation for learning how to play the cello, we aim to share music's power to improve students' self-regulatory skills, their creative expressivity, and their social-emotional health. We believe that learning a musical instrument opens children's minds to the complexities and intricacies of learning - an awareness that can stay with them throughout their lives.

Program description

In each community, we will run week-long cello camps, where children will have instructional time with each of our teachers every day. They will learn how to play simple classical and pop pieces, all the while engaging in tonal and rhythmic learning that is transferable to any form of music making. Cello time will be interspersed with music-based crafts, games, and excursions with the goal of building community through shared experience. At the end of each week, students will present a concert showcasing what they've been able to learn during camp. 

Cost to communities

For the purpose of maximizing accessibility, participation will be free for students. Students are expected to participate fully for the week, to entirely benefit from what the program has to offer and to progress to their full potential. Communities will contribute program space. 

The Logistics

  • Program Dates: July 4-July 22, 2016
  • Program Length: 1 week per camp
  • Number of Communities: 3
  • Instructional Hours per Day: 3
  • Other Activities (music games, crafts, excursions), Integrated with Instructional Time: 3 hours per day
  • Rented Cellos: 15
  • Concerts: 2 per week (one teacher concert, one student concert)

Our Legacy

After one week of cello playing, we will not have any Yo-Yo Ma's on our hands, but we will have a group of children who will better understand how to work on personal goals, how to respond to feedback, and how to be proud of their accomplishments. Because cellos require a large amount of knowledgeable maintenance, we cannot leave instruments in communities. However, over the course of the week, children will have thoroughly learned the basics of pitch and rhythm, concepts that will give them the ability to thoughtfully explore playing the guitars and pianos that are already in their schools and community centres. Although the cello playing is temporary, the musical exposure is permanent. 

This is a brand new project, with 2016 being its first year. With success, we will aim to make the Yukon Cello Project an annual endeavour, allowing children in remote communities to have the musical success available to anyone else.