Y4M Manifesto.

Calling all youth JOIN US!

After lots of consultation with youth from coast to coast, youth leaders realized that, no matter where we live in Canada, we were saying similar things about the importance of music to our lives. So, we started a plan, for youth – by youth – through music and drafted a Youth4Music manifesto for “learning, creating, making and valuing music in Canada.” These four points are vital for strengthening and sustaining music in Canada.

Music is vital to our schools – vital to our lives.   We call on musicians, politicians, principals, Directors and Ministers, and parents – Stand with us!

Calling all youth – JOIN US!

We believe in the importance of

  • Quality school music programs for all children and youth taught by qualified music teachers
  • Exploring our creativity through different ways and genres of musical expressions
  • Music education to support ongoing generations of audiences and patrons, AND music makers for symphony orchestras, choirs, bands, and all genres of musical groupings
  • Experiencing LIVE music in our schools, our communities and our culture
  • Creating music as an expression of the stories of our generation for our culture and our heritage!

The 4 Points.


We learn music many ways:

  • Formally through our school music programs, organized community programs, education outreach programs by symphony orchestras, choirs, and through private or studio instruction; and
  • Informally through self study and getting together with friends

We are creative. We need to create. We are the voice of our communities! We create music many ways:

  • Composing and arranging music
  • Songwriting and rap flow
  • Improvisation
  • recording
MAKING music

Making music helps us to learn, to create and to value. Performing together builds community. Performing our own creations and the music of others and confidence. We make music many ways:

  • formally through stage performances at schools, concert halls and theatres, and recording studios
  • informally through classroom performances, school assemblies in gyms, Open Mics, jamming with friends in many settings

We want to develop a culture in Canada where creating, making and learning music is truly valued for what it offers children and youth, AND for how it can alleviate social injustices, and address varying mental and physical abilities. Many policy and decision-makers are in positions to actively value music in our culture through our schools and communities:

  • Principals, School Board trustees, Superintendents and Directors
  • Minister of Education
  • Parents, School Advisory Councils, teachers and staff
  • Municipal and provincial government, including leaders like Premiers, Mayors and City Councillors
  • Industry including local and business sectors like Chambers of Commerce, local and national businesses
  • Health, social and youth services

What we want.

  • Music should be a core subject! Keep music in schools for all children and youth!
  • Start school music in early years for young children
    • It’s really important for early child development
    • It brings students together and gives us a school spirit
    • It feeds strong music programs in higher grades
  • School music programs should be taught by qualified music teachers – we need more music teachers!
  • Environments in our schools and communities that encourage creativity and freedom to explore our creativity
  • Explore parts of our lives through music, like science, history, communications, social justice, and so much more
  • Respect, understand and encourage our creativity in various genres
  • Integrate various ways of being creative, like using technology and different kinds of equipment and instrumentation 
  • Access in our school music programs to a variety of musical instruments – instruments that work!
  • Places to perform in our schools and communities that include venues for all ages so people under 19 can attend and play music!
  • Venues in our communities that support LIVE music of all kinds– It’s important!
  • Value our creativity and initiative to play music – Pay young musicians!
  • Value the transformative benefits that learning music through our schools provides young people for their life!
  • Support young music makers in our schools and communities by providing venues for music creating and performance, attending their performances and communicating about the amazing things we are doing!

Music Monday 2016 Showcase Concert: Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, ON
Left to Right:  Scott Helman, Eunilynne Lazado, Sasha Molotkow, Céline Peterson, Cy James

Big Ideas and Strategies.

Click to expand
  • Create a national network of youth leaders to make a difference for music in our schools and communities
  • Develop a national Youth4Music Advisory team
  • Create and support local Youth4Music hubs across Canada
  • Provide leadership profile for youth through hosting local and national Music Monday celebrations
  • Create special opportunities for Youth4Music Ambassadors to represent the Youth4Music network
  • Youth4Music Ambassadors host Music Monday events, especially the National Showcase Concert
  • Youth4Music helps plan special celebrations of Canada’s 150th anniversary during Music Monday
  • Create free resources for youth to download from the Youth4Music website, including toolkits for starting a Youth4Music hub, advocacy tools for presentations to School Boards, School Councils and more
  • Celebrate youth leadership through the NUFSICISUM* Youth Leadership Awards (* read backwards)
  • Showcase youth articles, videos and special presentations
  • Hold Youth4Music leadership symposiums across Canada, and eventually bring everyone together for a national Youth4Music Leadership event!
  • Develop Youth4Music awareness campaigns with social media strategies, including showing the scientific information about the benefits of music
  • Develop leadership teams to go into schools to inform and inspire about the importance of music programs
  • Youth4Music Ambassadors to participate in advocacy team to go to the National Capital

Music Monday 2016 Showcase Concert: Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, ON
Backstage with Céline Peterson

This is just the beginning.

Do you have more ideas? Tell us what YOU think. Become a local leader and work with us to make a difference. Let’s explore the possibilities.