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Music & Sound in Schools: Listening, Playing and Adapting to Current Times

Music is “a way to take things from the inside… and then share them with other people. What ends up happening is people realize that we’re all kind of struggling in similar ways.” Singer-songwriter Rob Lutes 

Figuring out how to safely teach in-person during COVID times and adapting music education to virtual platforms are challenges that we understand. ELAN ArtEd musicians are working hard to help teachers and schools do just that! ArtistsInspire Teaching Artists collaborate with teachers to facilitate workshops that bring inspiring music and sound experiences to any class, whatever the context of the community and school. All our Artists are vetted for their professional work and experience engaging children and youth in Music & Sound activities and are experienced in facilitating online musical experiences. Our current Music & Sound Artists include: J.P. Mortier, Kathy Kennedy, Krista Muir, Geremia Lorenzo Lodi, Greg Paul Stone, Guillaume Jabbour, Louise Campbell, Nadine Neema, Purna, Rob Lutes, Ronnie LeBlanc, Roy MacLaren, Timothy Piper, Jeunesses Musicales

When asked what Music & Sound brings to schools and students in these times, our Artists agree: cultivating the ability to listen and relate to each other and the world. Beyond this starting point, their answers are as passionate and diverse as their practices. As Singer-songwriter Rob Lutes says, lyric writing specifically is “a way to take things from the inside, and put them on the outside in some creative way and then share them with other people. What ends up happening is people realize that we’re all kind of struggling in similar ways.” As Geremia Lodi puts it, music “connects us via reciprocity, to our fellow schoolmates… we are shaping the music together, and at the same time, listening.”

Guillaume Jabbour connects Music and Sound to the natural environment, saying, “By paying attention to our immediate surroundings and the sounds that are created naturally in the environment whether that be from cars or people talking or walking or birds or the wind in the trees, it just makes life better. We pay attention to our immediate surroundings and recognize the beauty in that Sonic landscape.” Purna takes a similar approach to indoor sonic environments, asking students to record an indoor sound that are then mixed together to, as she states, “turn a tough time into a positive one.” Louise Campbell relates Music & Sound to history and our personal contexts: “Music has such a fantastic history to be learned from. We can play works that are hundreds of years old, and gain an understanding of what people lived through back then. We can also create our own works to offer to each other that speak about our own experiences, giving them to somebody in the next classroom or a family member or friend. Music is all about creating connections and creating community.”

What do our Music & Sound Artists do with students? Our Artists facilitate activities that range from listening to and creating soundscapes, body percussion, building instruments using found objects, virtual improvisation on Zoom, to songwriting and even opera! Our partner Jeunesse Musicales welcomes elementary students into the world of opera through an interactive workshop series that explores the voice,  and finishes with a short online performance sure to appeal to young children: Opera Candy: the Gourmet adventure of Hansel and Gretel!

For those music teachers interested in leveling up students’ skills in sound editing and digital production, this virtual age of music education is full of possibility. Our artists will work with you to achieve your goals, the skills and experience of your students and the technology available. As Guillaume Jabbour says, “you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to make music”. As Louise Campbell says, “There was no such thing as affordable sound equipment really when I was a kid. Now, students have it in their own phone. Just imagine where we can go if the kids today have great chops on their instruments and also start to learn the digital production skills in order to make their own music… If we work together, then we can do anything.”


For more information, see:

Artist Profiles (select Music & Sound in the search engine)

School Grant guidelines and application


For complete Artists interviews:

Rob Lutes:

What does music have to offer schools at this time?

Geremia Lodi:

What does music & sound offer to students & schools at this time?

Louise Campbell

How can Music & Sound happen in school in these times?

What does Music & Sound have to offer schools in these times?

Guillaume Jabbour:

What does music & Sound offer to students & schools?

Louise Campbell, Guillaume Jabbour & Jessica Houston

Message in a Bottle: How do you find facilitating art online?

What surprises have you experienced facilitating arts online?

For Teacher testimonials:

Message in a Bottle: How did your students respond to online learning?

Body Percussion: What did you think of this workshop? Can you describe what activities you did?

Body Percussion: Who would you recommend this workshop to?


For ArtistsInspire projects in Music & Sound:

Distance Learning: the 21st Century Message in a Bottle

Taking it Outside: Bringing Arts Education in to Open Spaces

Message in a Bottle August 2020

Message in a Bottle April 2020

A Sound Experience at Ste-Agathe Academy