MUSICAL FRIENDS: A FREE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM
Take advantage of this wonderful, FREE program for music lovers
of all ages.
Musical Friends is an after-school program for youth.
It also offers specially designed programs for seniors and
What does the after-school program include at no charge?
For the after-school youth program free snacks are provided to
help our participants concentrate without that lack of fuel lull.
Instruments are provided for free as well as transportation home
or to daycare when needed.
There are four professional musicians leading the charge, but this
program would not be possible without our beloved volunteers.
From handling the food, class atmosphere, and all non-musical
aspects of the program, they are essential.
St. Stephen’s Anglican Parish donates the space and their
‘hospitality committee’ and the food provided to the students.
The Elementary School youth are greeted at 2PM and walked to
Tuck Hall, 54 Regent Street. Their heavy backpacks are picked
up by a car and driven to the hall. At 3PM the Middle School
youth join the program. This nice little jaunt helps get the children
warmed up and anticipating the fun.
Singing and “rock” band are the two workshops offered as well as
piano, ukulele, guitar, bass guitar and drums. There is something
We thank St. Stephen’s Anglican Church as the primary
charitable organization driving this initiative It is a non-
denominational program that is open to all people. It is simply a
lovely way of contributing to the health and growth of our
Elementary school youth learn a song by a Nova Scotian children’s musician.
Music is an excellent way to teach responsibility, working
together and focus. Our teachers ensure musicians of every
level learn and enjoy at their own pace and level.
There are multiple examples of children with some social
issues flourishing as they continue in the program. Music is a
universal love and has a wonderful effect on all our
Effects of Music Training on the Child’s Brain and
(Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences)
“Research has also demonstrated that music training in
children results in long-term enhancement of visual-spatial,
verbal, and mathematical performance. “
We have seen angry youth find joy in drumming, shy youth open
up, youth who have little self-esteem become immensely proud
when they master piano or ukulele.
We have seen one young person who at first refused to
participate in anything, open up and fall in love with the program,
talking about it all the way home.
Some participants might go on to a professional career in music
but that is not the focus of the program.
The focus is to give youth a safe place to grow and flourish, have
fun, and learn. Our programs teach responsibility, cooperation,
The program has been supported by the Leanne Foundation, the
United Way, the Chester Municipality, the provincial government,
The Alexander Fleming Pattillo Foundation. the Segelburg
Foundation, fund-raising events and several private donations.
Collaborative projects with the Chester Municipal Heritage Society
are funded by the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.
Members of the Musical Friends choir receive a standing ovation
at the Spring Benefit performed at St. Stephen’s Church
Musical Friends was offering all these programs pre-COVID:
Musical Friends Beginner Band
Musical Friends Advanced Band
Vintage Voices Tuck Hall, St. Stephen’s
Vintage Voices Shoreham Seniors’ Residence
Tuneful Tots live performances of nursery rhymes and complex
During COVID, teachers taught youth one-on-one or in “bubble”
groups. They wore masks and did not share instruments without
disinfecting them. Youth were taught in all rooms. In the hall,
church, boardroom and even basement (think Garage Band).
This Fall we hope to go back to groups teaching (in masks).
Musical Friends is not just about music; it is about community and
a safe place to grow.
Click below to check out this wonderful, FREE,
program for anyone that loves music.