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Crossfield school receives $10,000 grant to support music

A local school is celebrating the addition of numerous new instruments for its music department thanks to a grant from MusiCounts.

A local school is celebrating the addition of numerous new instruments for its music department thanks to a grant from MusiCounts.

MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity, donated $560,000 worth of new instruments to 71 deserving schools across Canada as part of the 2010-2011 Band Aid Grants.

W.G. Murdoch School in Crossfield received $10,000 to go toward the purchase of new musical instruments.

“What we found interesting about W.G. Murdoch is the fact that it is such a robust program,” said Steve Cranwell, executive director of MusiCounts.

“The numbers have decreased in recent years because of the cuts because the arts are the first to go. We were so impressed with the school band’s efforts to fundraise, their participation in community festivals and competitions, and the support from the community including the mayor.”

According to Cranwell, schools are chosen for the program based on economic need, inventory and condition of instruments, number of students, dedication of school staff, music programs and the overall impact the grant would make within the school and the community.

W.G. Murdoch School principal Greg Roberts said he was “tickled pink by the donation.”

“We are looking for ways to help support our students and a significant amount of students in our school are interested in music,” he said, adding about 25 per cent of the student population is involved in music programs.

Roberts attributed the donation to the school’s music teacher Pam Curran, who applied for the grant.

“We are extremely fortunate,” said Curran.

“We were very lucky to be one of the few Alberta schools that received this money.”

Curran said she plans to buy a new drum set, trumpet, flute, clarinet and alto saxophone.

Cranwell said the goal of MusiCounts is to keep music education alive because it increases spatial awareness in children’s brains, which improves math and science skills.

“It improves creativity for students who are not academically inclined,” he said.

“It creates opportunities and teaches children how to work together and create relationships that last a lifetime.”

Curran and Roberts agreed.

“Learning music spills over into other areas allowing kids to express themselves, builds confidence and lets them excel at something,” said Curran.

“They learn to stay committed to something and become team players,” added Roberts.

“It is a rich learning experience.”

Roberts said the school has a goal of making music affordable and available to all students in the next two to three years.

Since MusiCounts was established in 1997, more than $4 million has been donated impacting 238 post secondary music program graduates and more than 325,000 individual students, their schools and communities, from coast to coast. For more information, visit

Airdrie City View Staff

About the Author: Airdrie City View Staff

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