Heart of the City Piano Program


Media Coverage

Front Page Saskatoon Star Phoenix 
Thursday, December 11, 2003


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Edmonton piano program helps inner city students
Last Updated 2003-01-10 00:00:00.0

Adrienne Lamb, The Arts Report 

EDMONTON - Organizers of a program giving free piano lessons to students in Edmonton inner city schools want to expand it across the country.

The "Heart of the City Piano Program" matches disadvantaged children with musical volunteers. It's based on a model from Saskatchewan.

Creinda Kozar, a 10-year-old student in the program, says her practising has paid off.

"It makes me happy when I make the music," said Kozar. "At the beginning I kept on making mistakes and now I don't make as many mistakes."

Her teacher, Chantal Chauvet, has worked for the last year to develop the program in Edmonton. Chauvet, a University of Alberta student, says 50 children from three elementary schools now participate in "Heart of the City."

Chauvet says more children have shown interest in it.

"There is a big waiting list so the children...know that if they are part of the program it is a privilege so they do set up to practice," said Chauvet. "They know if they don't...we take it that they're not interested."

The vice-principal of Spruce Avenue School, one of the schools involved in the program, says the children are dedicated. Bruce Rooney says they come inside to practice on the donated keyboards before and after school, and during recess.

"You can tell that they're very motivated," said Rooney. "They're not in [the school] to fool around, they want to come and practice the piano."

As a reward for their hard work, students and program volunteers are attending a professional piano recital at the Winspear Centre this weekend.