If you’ve never heard of the CBC’s music class challenge, it’s worth looking up. If your child or children are enrolled in a school music program, even better. Since the CBC is a government funded company that supports the arts, they’re always looking for ways to stimulate creativity. Hence: this unique challenge with fantastic prizes to benefit besieged music programs across the country.
The premise is simple: any music class – whether it’s an extra-curricular club or a regular music class – can enter the competition. The CBC provides a list of songs written by Canadians that the class can choose from. Whether the class wants to record the song note for note or do a totally whacky, original take on it is completely up to them. Even if music classes don’t always have state-of-the-art equipment these days, all you need is a simple smart phone to capture the performance. While smartphones can often be a distraction in class, in this instance they are very helpful.
The cool thing about this contest it that it’s a way to get children fired up about music. Last year over 500 schools submitted videos from every territory and every province in four different languages. Of the 500, 6 were chosen to receive recording equipment valued at $5,000.
Rather than seeing music as just another boring class between math and recess, this challenge encourages kids to get creative and make something they can share with their friends and be proud of. The emphasis on recording is interesting as well, since it will make students consider the finer points of recording audio, which is more likely to lead to a career in the music industry than anything else. You may have to sign your kids up for music lessons when the contest is over, since collaborating on a creative project of this nature can create an insatiable hunger for more skills and knowledge.
Here are a list a list of songs that are eligible for the 2017 edition of the challenge:
- “Lost Boy” by Ruth B.
- “Running” by Jully Black
- “Listen to the Sounds” by Bobs and LoLo
- “Fool” by BasiaBulat
- “CBC Olympic Theme” by Marc Cholette (arranger: Grayson Mathews)
- “I Don’t Want To Break Your Heart” by Coeur de pirate
- “Northern Lights” by The Jerry Cans
- “Constant Craving” by K.d. lang
- “Dans Ton Oreille” by JérômeMinière
- “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell
- “L’Amour” by Karim Ouellet
- “Sing it Together” by Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas
- “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendes
- “James Bay” by Midnight Shine
- “Missing You” by J.F. Robitaille
- “It Snowed” by Meaghan Smith
- “End of an Era” by The Strumbellas
Another cool element of this contest is that it shines a spotlight on Canadian artists and bolsters a sense of community between artists and the public. It helps kids get excited about the Canadian music industry and learn about a variety of artists – Joni Mitchell and K.D. Lang, for example – that they might not otherwise find out about. The list of songs is so eclectic that kids will surely find something that interests them, and maybe they will a discover the very genre that they would want to make music in.
Prize money aside, the best thing about this contest is that it breaks a rigid, academic approach to music and turns it into something creative and spontaneous; the kind of experience that could truly teach young people how gratifying it can be to perform music.