Here's just a small sampling of cool music programs that you can support by donating to The Minstrel Foundation
By supporting the Minstrel Foundation, you are helping to fund a range of music programs for youth in our inner city. These programs introduce children and teens to the wonders and joy of music, help them develop their talent, let them experience a world outside their own environment through music festivals, camps and other performances, and open doors for them to new opportunities in education and life. Also, as music lessons are usually given one student at a time, close relationships develop between student and teacher, giving our students the personal mentorship many are missing in their young lives. The Minstrel Foundation is providing support to the following organizations. As our resources increase, in the future we will also be helping more students of these inner city music programs with scholarships to further their music/arts post secondary education at a Conservatory or University.
Dixon Hall Music School
Since 1978 Dixon Hall Music School has been a “second home” to thousands of children and youth from the Regent Park and Moss Park neighbourhoods of Toronto. Here, they take one or more of 21 different instruments or classes on a weekly basis, speaking one of 18 different languages. Many have been with us for a decade or more, unlocking a world of music in a positive, safe and welcoming environment for as low as $3 per lesson.
We employ an individual approach to the students that stresses mentorship, friendship, non-judgment and support, an approach that has seen students go on to higher learning in a number of disciplines and careers in acting, performing and recording.
Our students speak of coming to Canada at a young age feeling overwhelmed and out of place, and that the Music School was (and is) the best part of their childhood. At a recent recital at our school, the mother of a student told another mom, “I’m not rich. But the Music School makes me feel culturally rich”.
From Violence to Violins
A program launched in 2007 by Moshe Hammer in response to Toronto’s “summer of the gun” and directed to students in grades 2–5 to help at risk children who might find guns and gangs appealing. Through our assistance, the program will be launched in two more schools in the Jane & Finch area. Our initial support will fund twice weekly lessons through the school year given by accomplished music teachers and help organize concerts and other activities for the students.
Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus
The CCOC is one of Toronto’s musical traditions, in operation for over 35 years. There are currently 200 children aged 5-19 in its ruby, apprentice, principal and youth choruses. While some children go on to musical careers, the CCOC’s mission is “to foster a lifelong enjoyment of the arts in children by introducing them to the magic of live opera, both as performers and as members of our audiences.” Members of the CCOC present a yearly opera and perform in many concerts and musical events.
Regent Park School of Music
The Minstrel Foundation founded the Regent Park School of Music in May 1999. With the ongoing support of the Minstrel Foundation which has now exceeded $300,000, the school has flourished. RPSM offers group ensemble and private lessons in a variety of instruments taught by 53 teachers. The Foundation initiated the popular IPad ensemble classes in 2013. The school began in the basement of St. Paul’s Basilica on Queen Street. Today it has its own premise within the Daniel Spectrum Centre in the heart of Regent Park and has satellite locations in the Jane/Finch and Parkdale neighbourhoods.
University Settlement House Music School
University Settlement House, one of Toronto’s oldest community outreach centres is located behind the Art Gallery of Toronto and incorporates a full subsidized music program throughout the whole year for inner city youth. University Settlement is committed to paying a minimum of ½ the cost of lessons and, in the case of greater need more.