Humber College’s Community Music School has a 40-year legacy and this September, for the first time, it will add voice lessons to its long list of music classes for students aged 3 to 18.
“Modern vocalists are trying to treat their voice as an instrument like any other. We want to be prepping students to have that mindset and offer them the same opportunity we've been offering other instrumentalists,” said program manager Lucian Gray.
The Community Music School offers weekly private lessons and small-group classes that expose children to the joy of music making and help them achieve their individual performance goals. Classes are open to children and youth of all backgrounds and musical experience levels.
The school is building on its expertise and history of success in jazz music education, supported by the Humber Music Department in the Faculty of Media & Creative Arts.
“With cuts to public school music programs province-wide, we’re seeing a drop in terms of people pursuing instrumental studies or even playing instruments. Vocals are one instrument with no barrier preventing study, and an ideal way for all children to pursue music education,” said Gray.
The new vocal lessons will be open to youth of all ages and skill levels and will be taught completely online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the voice is an accessible instrument, performance can be intimidating for young singers. Community Music vocal coach Laura Anglade helps them build the confidence to face their stage fright – and other life challenges.
“Some kids are shy and sometimes they don’t know how to express themselves. Singing is so vulnerable,” said Anglade.
“They just get comfortable being uncomfortable. Performing is not for everyone, but they can apply it to other aspects of life, like when they have a job interview.”
Vocal classes will eventually be expanded to include ensemble lessons, which will help singers build community and find their voice among other instrumentalists.
Beginners have a place at the school, too. Anglade believes that with good technique and discipline, anyone can bring a story to life with their voice.
“Everybody has something different to say in life and that applies to singing. It’s such a beautiful form of expression.”
Visit the Humber Community Music School website to register for September 2021 classes.