Run by University of Albert students, with the support of the Edmonton Public School Board and the Edmonton Catholic School District, The Edmonton Heart of the City Piano Program serves to enhance the lives of at-risk youth through a structured music program that is scheduled throughout the school year. Most of the volunteers, crucial to the success of the program, are students of the University. In addition to University students, a variety of high school students and members from the local community lend their support to maintain the program’s impact and reach. Volunteers of the Edmonton Heart of the City Piano Program teach piano and guitar once a week at elementary schools, during scheduled one hour lunch breaks or after school sessions.

In 2013, supported by 40 volunteers, the Heart of the City Piano Program succeeded in teaching over 100 children from 13 elementary schools how to play the piano and guitar. A year of lessons culminated with a recital in March, where the students were given the opportunity to show off what they had learned during the year to their friends and family. The program exists to provide much more to students than simply musical skills. Through exposure to positive role models, opportunities to attend live music performances, and the fostering of a sense of accomplishment, students gain a greater sense of the overall cultural community, pride, and self-esteem.

To help further establish the program’s presence in a greater number of schools, the MusiCounts TD Community Music Grant has awarded the Heart of the City Piano Program $7,000 which will be used to purchase additional digital pianos and guitars. The additional music equipment will help ensure children continue to learn the value of music, and subsequently become part of a larger community initiative.

Congratulations to Heart of the City Piano Program!