Changer le monde avec la musique!

The musical summer day camp for Montreal youth


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11863 Notre-Dame Est Montréal (Québec) H1B 2Y2
CA Canada


About the project Edit

The Société de promotion de l’apprentissage de la musique (SOBAM), the Carrefour Musical de l’Est (CME), and the Studio CME solidarity cooperative will be continuing their “Changer le monde avec la musique!” initiative in summer 2012. This project, launched in 2011, gives 50 underprivileged youth between the ages of 12 and 17 from Montreal the opportunity to participate in a 3-week summer camp, free of charge.

The camp provides a normalizing life environment, the foundation for egalitarian relationships, and support for underprivileged youth. Ginette Moreau, president of the SOBAM believes that “given the experience of its human resources and infrastructures, the CME can host at risk youth who would normally not have the opportunity to participate in a summer camp.”


In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Learning and playing music provides youth with an engaging alternative to street gangs, crime, and dropping out of school. It encourages young people to pursue their dreams and ambitions. Montreal’s summer music camp is a model of success for the youth who participate since musical training and practice are at the heart of the camp’s success. For the last three summers, the Carrefour Musical de l’Est, a music school and partner of this project has collaborated with the McGill Conservatory to give teens between the ages of 12 and 17 from Eastern Montreal and the surrounding area the opportunity to have a unique experience—a real-life school of rock! The SOBAM, the initiating non-profit organisation, has partnered with these organizations to develop the “Changer le monde par la musique” project.
The goals of this project are to:
• Mobilize and motivate youth through a meaningful musical experience;
• Encourage student involvement by using intrinsic motivation such as a love of music;
• Foster a positive sense of belonging in a group environment by providing participants with models of success through music;
• Encourage a sense of pride that will help maintain students’ level of motivation;
• Facilitate learning and allow young people to experience success through structured musical experiences adapted their current skill levels;
• Foster self-confidence by teaching them how to express their needs, tastes, and ideas while respecting others;
• Learn how to relate, communicate, and make compromises with the other members of the band;
• Use musical learning activities, with voice or instruments, studio recording, and live performances to facilitate the development of their skills;
• Create a sense of security to reduce the young performers’ levels of anxiety;
• Encourage young people to take risks, express themselves in a fun way like singing or playing an instrument;
• Bring about the development of self-esteem and self-confidence in the lives of young people.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

Demographic studies have revealed that there are areas of significant socio-economic disadvantage in Montreal. In addition, over 4000 Montreal youth drop out of high school every year without diplomas or any qualifications. The urgent need to take action has been repeated time and time again; we must encourage young people to persevere because dropping out is not the answer. It is a trap that, sooner or later, will lead to negative consequences and situations such as, street gangs, violence, drug addiction, poverty, and mental health problems, steering youth away from the happiness they are so desperately seeking. The academic achievement of our youth has become a collective priority. During the academic year, schools offer activities and projects that aim to encourage full commitment and success. But, what happens in the summer? Young people are left on their own, without activities, structure or goals. These young people are more likely to engage is risky behaviour. Many of these youth, who are often at risk of leaving school, are passionate about music. This experience showed that these young people could be mobilized, enriched, and motivated by their love of music, even in the summer.
Learning music can be a great source of motivation for many young people. To continue this mobilization, ensure continuity, and put an end to school leaving, violence, drug addiction, we invite young people to: Change the world through music! Montreal’s youth summer music camp is a project that generates hope and success.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The young people, who already have a background in music or singing at the start of the camp, pursue and develop social skills during a variety of workshops (music, band, style, etc.), photo sessions, and studio recording sessions. They have the opportunity to learn and practice how to interact with the other members of a band. Each camp is three weeks long and at the end, campers get the chance to perform in front of their friends and family, showing off their guitar, bass, keyboard, singing, and drumming skills.

Over the course of the three-week camp, campers experience every aspect of life in a band. The “style of the day” activity presents a different style of music through multimedia presentations that include photos, and video and music clips. This activity exposes campers to a wide variety of musical styles including, blues, classic rock, punk rock, soul, funk, world music, and heavy metal. Every day, there is a discussion on a different aspect of life in a band such as, communication between band members on and off stage, compromising, how to find performance venues, how to get started in the profession, how to organize a show, performance ethics, dos and don’ts, how to make a name for your band, and life of band on tour. The campers must also decide on a name for their band, design a logo, and make a poster.
Campers: 50 teens between the ages of 12 and 17 from underprivileged households in Eastern Montreal, divided into 2 camps of 25 musicians.
According to the selection criteria, campers must:
1. Be youth at risk of school leaving
2. Be from a financially disadvantaged household
3. Be able to play a musical instrument or sing
4. Have their own musical instrument*
5. Be motivated to be part of a group of young musicians
6. Be motivated to perform
7. Be willing travel within Eastern Montreal

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

The SOBAM (Société pour la Promotion des Bienfaits de l’Apprentissage de la Musique) is a charitable organization recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency, whose mission is to promote the physical, psychological, and sociological benefits of learning music to a community, by offering musical activities to populations in need. The SOBAM has carried out many activities since it was founded in 2009. Notably, Christmas shows in CHSLDs, fundraising activities, and a “rehabilitation through singing” project for adults living with mental health conditions, “Ces voix oubliées de la Pointe-de-l'Île.” In summer 2011, the SOBAM launched the first, pilot edition of “Changer le monde par la musique,” whereby 3 underprivileged youth attended the Carrefour Musical’s summer camp.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

The SOBAM partnered with the Carrefour Musical de l’Est (CME) team for this project. The CME has demonstrated unfailing leadership and professionalism since it was founded in 2004 and many people have already benefitted from their active music therapy programs whereby participants learn music. In addition, Dr. Johanne Godin, a doctor at Rivière des Prairies Hospital, has referred many adolescents suffering from mental health disorders to the CME, giving them the opportunity to use the process of learning music as a means of self-recovery. From 2009 to 2011, the CME collaborated with the McGill Conservatory to offer Garage Band Camp to youth between the ages of 12 and 17. This partnership demonstrated that the CME has the required, safe facilities to host a group of teenagers, as it was required to conform to the certification standards required by the Association des Camps du Québec (ACQ). Financing is provided by donors, sponsors, and partners. The funds collected during the music camp’s fundraising campaign pays the following expenses:
-The salary for human resources: 2 counsellors, 1 specialized educator, and 1 project manager
-Rental of a recording studio
-Rental of a performance venue
-Transportation for campers
-Rental of equipment and instruments for the performance

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