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The RCM Pushes for Action: Help Persuade Government to Support Music Teachers

The RCM Pushes for Action: Help Persuade Government to Support Music Teachers

Published on March 26, 2021

Advocating for the music education sector is a constant activity for The Royal Conservatory. Early on in the pandemic, The RCM recognized the need to intensify these efforts on behalf of not just the sector, but for the many self-employed music teachers who are part of the critical infrastructure of music education in Canada.

Teaching music online
In addition to surveys with music teachers (the results of which were sent to the Canadian government), Dr. Peter Simon, President & CEO of The Royal Conservatory of Music, addressed the Standing Committee on Finance of the House of Commons last summer to highlight gaps in emergency response funding that left out self-employed music teachers.  In August of last year, the Canadian Government announced the new CRB that provides benefits to self-employed workers. 

Since then, The RCM has engaged in a letter-writing campaign to politicians again, advocating on behalf of Canadian music teachers. 

Today, an interview with Dr. Simon appeared in the online edition of the Toronto Star and other newspapers titled: “Music teachers need government help to weather the pandemic”.

The writer, William Littler, cites research from The Royal Conservatory that nearly one in three music teachers have experienced a 50% drop in income due to the pandemic and also discusses the importance of music study based on additional research supplied to him by The Royal Conservatory. 

During his conversation with Mr. Littler, Dr. Simon stressed the importance of building a solid infrastructure for Canadian music educators, notably in light of the COVID-19 economic crisis.

He described how The Royal Conservatory has proposed several areas of potential government support, including:
  • The creation of a campaign to assert the value and benefits of music education to children,
  • The implementation of an easy and reliable system for parents to find a teacher, and
  • Supporting music educators to make the transition to digital learning – all bearing in mind the continuing importance of one-on-one teaching.
“Music has a unique power to connect people at the deepest and most profound level and is therefore of vital importance in creating and building a cohesive society and culture.”
“It is because of this fundamental belief in the importance of music study that when the COVID-19 crisis engulfed the world, our primary focus was to enable the continuation of the study of music by supporting the vast network of independent music teachers in North America, which numbers hundreds of thousands and reaches millions of students" expressed Dr. Simon. "This network, which operates outside of formal public education, is the basis of in-depth music education on our continent."

Read the full article

How You Can Also Take Action

You can help by sending an email to your local Member of Parliament (with the link to the article), asking that they bring it to the attention of their fellow MP’s and to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault prior to the April 19 budget.

You can find the email for your MP by entering your postal code on the House of Commons website.

Suggested wording as a starting point for your email is:
“I am writing to voice my concern about the adverse impact of COVID-19 on opportunities for children in our riding to access quality music education. I am forwarding you a link to a recent article discussing this issue in a national context. I ask that you urgently bring the issue to the attention of Ministers Chrystia Freeland and Steven Guilbeault and to your colleagues in caucus.”

Please cc the two Ministers using these email addresses: [email protected] and [email protected]

Together we can ensure our sector’s needs are understood and prompt meaningful government action. Thanks in advance for your help with this vital effort.