Community music programs are here to foster tapping toes and non-stop whistlers this summer and fall. 

Nancy’s Notes 

Nancy’s Notes runs classes and camps designed to help kids develop a love of music. This year, they are running camps out of Eastwood Hall for the first time. 

There are still three weeks of themed camps left this summer. Treasure Hunter’s Camp (Aug. 16-20) features sea shanties and ocean-related instruments. “They pretend to be pirates,” says Jessica Bartolotta, the marketing advisor and a  music instructor at Nancy’s Notes. “It’s really cute.”

Fairy Tale Camp runs Aug. 23-27 and allows children to explore castles and learn about princesses, knights, and dragons. “That’s a really popular one amongst our young ladies,” says Bartolotta with a laugh. 

Both camps are for children ages four to eight, but Broadway Stars is another camp open to children ages seven to 11. Children will get the chance to rehearse a production of Beauty and the Beast and perform for parents. 

Piano, ukulele, and drums are some of the instruments children can try at Nancy’s Notes camps. | Jessica Bartolotta

“In each of the camps [children] will do different instrument learning and lots of singing, but [the camps are] really great to discover what each kid is interested in,” explains Bartolotta. “Then they can go further with that and pick an instrument [to learn] for the fall.” 

With each camp, families can participate online or in person. In-person camps are streamed over Zoom to online participants. Activity and prop packages are delivered at home, and kids can have the same camp experience from their living room. 

Children get the chance to try all kinds of instruments, from drums to piano and ukulele. 

For more information, visit Nancy’s Notes website

ETown Vocal Music Society (ETVMS)

ETown is an a cappella singing group that mentors youth and helps them expand their vocal horizons. The program uses no piano accompaniment, even during instruction, and coaches are committed to helping members improve their singing in a fun and welcoming environment. 

Starting on Sept. 23, ETVMS is offering a program for youth in grades 7 to 12 : ETown Minors.

There are no auditions, and the program is open to anyone, regardless of prior singing experience. “If you sing in the shower, [or] if you sing for a living, come on down and join us,” says Leanne Cairns, the chair of ETVMS.

Coaches and directors arrange music to fit the needs of the group and reflect their interests. “We are blessed with a talented group of coaches and directors who can respond to what the kids are interested in,” says Cairns, “so a lot of our arrangements tend to be top 40.” 

The program has been running for more than 10 seasons. “We want [to create] somewhere that people feel safe to sing,” explains Cairns. “We welcome everyone regardless of orientation or singing ability.” 

Check out ETown’s website for more information.  

CreArt music classes 

CreArt offers free music lessons for everyone, regardless of age, background, or even the neighbourhood they call home. Sebastian Barrera, who startedCreArt, describes the non-profit as a “free arts program together with community development.” 

This fall, CreArt is offering free music classes for the community. “We are looking forward to starting our own in-person guitar, violin, ukulele lessons every Saturday morning at some point in September…” says Barrera, “if the conditions of COVID and the regulations [allow it].”

Barrera will teach the ukulele classes. 

In the meantime, stop by Kinnaird Ravine (82 St. and 111 Ave) on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for some mural painting! This year, CreArt is producing 21 more murals to replace damaged and vandalized pieces. Anyone is welcome to join. 

For more information, visit CreArt’s website

Beatboxing workshop with Jon Jon Rivero

Arts on the Ave (AOTA) is hosting a beatboxing workshop with Jon Jon Rivero on Aug. 11 at The Carrot Coffeehouse. Sign up on the AOTA website for an evening of beatboxing fun. Anyone eight years and older is welcome to join.