Arbutus Singers Music Education Society - ChoirKids
Our Impact Why We Exist
ChoirKids has a simple goal - to develop and sustain choirs in community centres and schools throughout the region so that all children, regardless of income or ability, can learn and grow through music.
Our Story What We Do
The concept of ChoirKids was developed over several years. It grew from a desire of a group of singers in a neighbourhood choir in Victoria BC. The idea was to provide kids, in communities that might not currently offer it, the opportunity to sing in a non-auditioned choir, simply for fun.
In November of 2006 five members of the Arbutus Singers came together to form the Arbutus Singers Music Education Society. The goal, through a non-profit organization, was to establish children’s and youth choirs in the Greater Victoria area. The Society received charitable status in June of 2008.
The first children’s choir was formed in September of that year at the James Bay Community School. An average of 16 children participated in the program throughout the year and the choir sang several times including with the sponsoring choir, the Arbutus Singers.
In September of 2009 two additional choirs were established through theBurnside-Gorge Community Centre - one at the Centre and another at Quadra Elementary School.
In September 2010 the Burnside-Gorge and Quadra Elementary choirs were amalgamated into the new Tillicum Elementary ChoirKids. Another new ChoirKids choir was started at VicWest Elementary and in 2012, a new French language choir started at École Victor Brodeur.
Our Programs How We Do It
ChoirKids stays true to our core values - we introduce music education to children who can not otherwise participate in music programs.
Each week musical directors and volunteers visit 5 elementary schools to help children learn words and music, sing together as a group, and develop their creative and team building skills.
The children practice weekly and perform at various events throughout the school-year including concerts at schools, community gatherings and with the Arbutus Singers Choir. All activities are hosted free of charge to the children - many of whom would not be able to participate in any musical activities without ChoirKids
While the children clearly build their vocabulary and enhance their music skills, make friends and gain confidence, evidence also suggests that children in choirs experience increased:
- academic success across multiple disciplines
- social skills and better emotional management
- memory skills and self-discipline
- engagement with the community that lasts into adulthood with increased volunteerism and civic involvement, helping to create better communities in the future
Recognizing that children also need creative outlets in the summer months, ChoirKids offers music camps - a series of themed days where music and learning is combined into one big adventure that all families can afford and all children are welcome to attend.
What You Can Do
Choirkids appreciates donations of any size. Funds are invested in the choirs' activities - buying healthy snacks for the children at their weekly choir practice, transportation for choirs to attend events, musical direction, and the summer camp music program.
With financial support ChoirKids will be able to increase the number of choirs at designated inner city schools across Greater Victoria.