Editor’s note: This article is part of a series called New Music Mondays, where we feature new music by musicians from the Greater Sudbury area on Mondays. If you’re an area musician and would like us to profile your work, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of children, youth, teachers, parents and community members across Canada join together for Music Monday (not to be confused with the name of our series, New Music Mondays).
Hosted by the Coalition for Music Education, Music Monday unites musicians in communities from coast to coast to make a powerful statement about the importance of equitable access to quality music education for all students.
Secondary music teachers with the Rainbow District School Board have come up with an innovative way to celebrate Music Monday by bringing students together while safely apart. Lasalle Secondary School, Lockerby Composite School, Manitoulin Secondary School and Sudbury Secondary School have joined forces to create a gigantic multitrack recording of a piece called Through the Eye of the Storm by Canadian composer Ryan Meeboer.
You can watch that below:
Meghan Sanderson, Mike Jensen, Chris Theijsmeijer and Mitch McIntyre recorded a series of guide tracks for their music students to follow, with each educator playing their instrument of choice. Students were invited to add their versions to the master recording.
The goal is to delete the teacher tracks and have the student tracks stand on their own.
“We're using a program called Bandlab. It's available for phones and laptops and works across a wide range of operating systems, so it's an ideal platform for remote learning,” said music teacher Mike Jensen of Lockerby Composite School, in a press release. “It lets you add one track at a time while listening to the previous tracks as you record.”
Jensen said the project teaches recording techniques while keeping the spirit of the band alive through music making.
“It's like building a sandwich one layer at a time,” he said. “Music unites people. It’s also a big part of people’s lives. Many students who have pursued careers in medicine, law or business have said that music was an important skill building activity. It taught them lessons they continue to draw on in their current fields.”
Music teachers in Rainbow Schools have been collaborating extensively since the pandemic began and schools shifted to remote learning. “We pooled our talents to come up with a list of lessons and activities,” said Jensen. “That collaboration led to our current project. We not only wanted to make music, we also wanted to share music. Releasing our version of Through the Eye of the Storm on Music Monday is relevant for the times. It’s a celebration of our collective resilience as a community.”